Are You Coachable? Here's How to Tell.
Working with a coach can be a powerful way to accelerate your personal and professional growth. In order to benefit from coaching, however, first you must be coachable. What exactly does being "coachable" mean? From my experience as both a coach and coachee, I've learned that the people who experience the most growth and progress with their coaching goals invariably possess three key traits. When one or more of these traits are missing, the coaching goes neither very far nor very deep. So if you're considering working with a coach, first ask yourself if you possess what I call the "Three Cs of Coachability":
[Related: The Best Leaders Develop Others by Coaching]
If you're considering working with a coach, you must be willing and able to commit to the process. Growth and progress toward your goals take time and consistent effort. You need to keep showing up. That means setting a minimum number of sessions per month at as regular a cadence as possible and sticking to it for the duration. (If you want to see any progress, I recommend a minimum of 2 sessions per month for 3 months - anything less is a waste of time.) Of course, the longer you commit to coaching, the more growth you will experience, provided you invest effort consistently. Schedule your coaching sessions on your calendar and treat them as sacred time. On the days where you're feeling too drained for coaching, or you're tempted to blow off a session in favor of a social event, honor the time anyway. Coaching is about meeting your experience in the present, processing it and learning from it - whether you're tired, overworked, drained or just not in the mood. So keep showing up, and the process will reward you.
It's easier to put in consistent effort when you approach your coaching experience with a curious mindset. Have a sense of wonder about what you will discover during - and between - the sessions with your coach, and your learning and growth will amplify. What was it like to take that step outside of your comfort zone? If you didn't take that step, what became more important? What are you learning? Get curious about yourself, your expansion and the discomfort that you encounter along the way, and you'll find it easier to take steps you otherwise wouldn't have dared to take. Curiosity is a powerful mindset with which to approach the coaching process as it enables you to detach from discomfort and view personal growth as an adventure to experience rather than a process to endure. Without it, your motivation and commitment will quickly run dry.
Approaching challenges with curiosity enables us to be more courageous. Having courage is essential in coaching since, if you want to grow, you must be willing to step outside your comfort zone, explore dimensions of yourself that you may have been avoiding and process emotions that are difficult to deal with. Being courageous does not, however, mean you have no fear - quite the opposite. Having courage means experiencing fear and moving forward anyway. The more courageous steps you take, the more confident you become in taking risks, and the more you learn and move forward - which is what the coaching process is all about!
If you're committed to investing the time and effort it takes to work with a coach, are curious about your growth experience and have the courage to "feel the fear and do it anyway," consider yourself coachable and ready for the next step: finding the right coach for you. Stay tuned for my tips on what to look for in your search!
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
Personal Leadership Coach
Create With Fire
I create dynamic opportunities for people to learn, lead and live their potential. I coach, teach, design curriculum, plan instruction, develop and evaluate programming and manage cross-functional projects. I've also collaborated on manuscripts for professional publication, hold a Master's in Education, am a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) and am credentialed with the International Coach Federation as an ACC. Continue Reading
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