“The paradox is that the very things that hold us back are the reasons we need a coach in the first place.” Seth Godin
Successful leaders and future leaders have coaches! They have developed the skills to succeed by being coachable.
There are many things in business and in life that you don’t know that you don’t know. Being coachable uncovers the blind spots that get in your way of receiving promotions and special assignments. Making lots of money and achieving huge goals. And, being a leader others want to follow.
What Does Being Coachable Mean?
“Coachability is not a technical skill or an inherent ability. It is a mental attitude.” It reflects your ability to ask for feedback, listen, and make appropriate changes. It is also a reflection of your emotional ability or emotional intelligence (EQ) to learn from constructive criticism. (mvorganizing.org)
What Does Being Uncoachable Look Like?
When someone is uncoachable, they often will roll their eyes, take things personally, and have a myriad of excuses. They also misinterpret comments and resist taking the right action. It reflects their fears of having others think of them as “weak.” Or, their unwillingness to stretch their mindset outside their comfort zones.
One entrepreneur loved creating new products and was very talented. He dreamed of resigning from the day job he hated. The problem was, he didn’t want to focus on the business requirements to create a foundation for growth. As a result, he ignored the coach and did things his way. He’s still dreaming about one day being a successful business owner and giving up his hated day job.
Why Do Employers Fail to Offer Coaching?
Many companies agree coaching is a must. But they fail to work through the resistance teams and team members put up as barriers. Companies must then fire poor performers (90% of the time it’s due to poor interpersonal skills) because they are not coachable.
How Can You Improve Your Coachability?
- Seek Out Feedback. Ask team members, customers, and your boss for feedback. “What’s one thing that would help me improve …” (e.g., interactions with others, project results, ability to work well with others, etc.). Listen and be respectful, especially if the feedback isn’t what you want to hear. Don’t forget to say thank you!
- Be Open to Learning. You can learn something from anyone! While you may selectively seek out people more experienced than you, be open to hearing from co-workers and direct reports too. Their insights can be invaluable.
- Be Willing to Stretch Beyond Your Comfort Zone. We all love our comfort zones. But successful leaders and future leaders know they must move beyond these confining spaces! When you’ve already tried something that didn’t work or don’t feel comfortable with the recommendation, ask clarifying questions. “I tried this approach and it didn’t work for me. What do you believe is missing?” Listen and don’t debate. This helps you discover your blind spots and how to overcome them.
- Become Self-aware by Being Present. Self-awareness is critical to your success. It requires being present during ALL interactions. This means setting aside thoughts and distractions while listening and learning. During the process, you will discover insights between what you say you want and what you are doing.
- Make Positive Behavior and Attitude Changes. Talking the talk won’t make a difference. You must do the work! If you don’t know what to do, ask an experienced coach and use a qualified job fit assessment to guide you through the steps required. Then, immediately take the first step!
- Check Your Ego at the Door! Even if you believe your results are the best they can be, be willing to accept criticism, especially around tough issues. It’s a golden opportunity to learn from your successes and If you are unclear what the problem is, deep dive by asking clarifying questions. Be aware of your tone of voice and other non-verbal communication (e.g., rolling your eyes). Otherwise, you can shut down the opportunity to receive invaluable feedback and have amazing breakthroughs.
- Hire the Right Coach. Successful leaders and future leaders have coaches. They seek out and find the coach that can guide them to achieve what they really really really Also, select a coach that has a coach too! (Yes, coaches need to be coachable too!)
©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved
Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.
A note from Jeannette about the lesson we all need to learn: “Many of us have the assumption that someday life will be easy. We will coast along effortlessly and will be successful. … But this assumption that it gets easier is not true. It is never true because you change, the organization changes and the business environment is constantly evolving. A successful life means constant change and continuous learning. So set a goal now to remain coachable throughout your career.” (Forbes)
Not sure where to begin, contact me for a confidential conversation.