Are You Coachable? How to Know If You’re Ready For A Coach
Have you considered hiring a life coach?
Maybe you feel stuck in some aspect of your life and can't figure out a way forward.
You might be trying to change careers, start a new business, find the love of your life, or decide whether or not to move.
Or perhaps you're a manager seeking to motivate your employees or move ahead within your organization.
You might even be an athlete who wants to improve his or her game and help the team get more wins.
Whether you need a personal coach, executive coach, or an athletic coach, working with this professional can make a dramatic difference in your life and overall success.
Are You Coachable?
Before you hire someone, you need to ask yourself this: Are you coachable? Are you in the best space to seriously work on your life or career?
You don't want to waste your money and time only to discover you're not ready to work with a coach.
And any coach worth his or her salt won't accept you as a client if you aren't ready.
What does it mean to be coachable?
Working with a life coach isn't for everyone. Not because there's some elite group of individuals worthy of coaching.
Everyone is worthy of coaching, but not everyone is ready to be coached.
Because to reap the rewards of this powerful partnership, you need to be . . .
- Emotionally and mentally healthy
- Willing to address your limiting beliefs
- Open to stepping out of your comfort zone
- Eager to make positive change
- Consistent in taking the actions you and your coach determine
- Willing to invest the time and money necessary
The relationship between a coach and a client is a unique one. It is more of a partnership rather than a mentorship or consulting relationship.
Your coach is not a therapist. He or she is not the person to help you heal past wounds, treat depression, or help you save your marriage.
A good life coach understands that the client is the expert and knows what he or she wants. It's the coach's job to help the client access that.
A coach won't tell you what to do, but he or she will ask probing questions so you can figure it out.
Your coach will challenge you to take action and provide accountability to ensure you do.
He or she will help you overcome obstacles so you can achieve your goals and make positive change.
If you are ready to take personal responsibility for your life with the support of someone who has your best interest in mind, you are likely coachable.
But what if you're not ready to enter a coaching partnership?
If not, let's look at the benefits of coaching and how you can prepare yourself to get the most from this invaluable service.
Benefits of Being Coachable
Being in a coaching relationship is a unique one that is more of a partnership than an advisory interaction.
A coach can be successful only if the client is willing to participate as an equal — taking personal responsibility for his or her growth.
Good coaches know that each client has the inner wisdom and judgment to make the best decisions for themselves, and coaches strive to help clients tap into their own awareness.
How to be Coachable in Working with a Life Coach
If you think you'd like to work with a life coach but worry that you may not be coachable, there are actions you can take to better prepare yourself.
Hiring a coach is a financial investment and an investment in yourself. Even if you're eager to be coached, take the time needed before you hire someone to approach the relationship with your best foot forward.
Here are some tips:
- If your mental or physical health is suffering, treat those issues first so you can bring your full energy to coaching.
- If you are looking for a coach to “fix” you, recognize that YOU will be doing the heavy lifting in a life coach relationship.
- Be sure you have the time and willingness to follow through on “homework” in between sessions.
- Recognize that you'll need to be vulnerable and open with your coach about bad habits and limitations.
- Develop a beginner's mindset so that you can discover more ways to achieve your goal.
- Be sure that you are choosing coaching because you really want it — not because someone else thinks you should.
Working with a life coach is an extremely rewarding experience when you approach the relationship with enthusiasm, openness, full honesty, self-reflection, and gratitude.
If you feel defensive, negative, ambivalent, or resistant, this is not the right time for you.
How to be Coachable in Business on the Job
Being coachable on the job can be more challenging, especially when it's not your idea or choice to be coached.
But many organizations have internal or external executive coaches, and research confirms the effectiveness of workplace coaching — both for the organization and the employee.
It's to your advantage to enter this workplace coaching arrangement positively and with a growth mindset. It could lead to more success and satisfaction on the job.
If you want to be more coachable in business, here are some thoughts:
- Be willing to look at your professional blind spots without defensiveness or anger.
- Proactively ask for feedback about your performance and how you impact the organization.
- Be willing to show gratitude for feedback and employ the strategies suggested to you.
- Learn to embrace ambiguity and acknowledge that you are not always right.
- Pay attention to the leaders in your organization and the qualities that make them effective and successful.
When you are being coached on the job, always approach the interaction with positivity and enthusiasm.
Even if you don't feel you need coaching, you may be surprised to discover nuggets of knowledge, wisdom, and self-awareness that can shift you in a positive direction at work.
How to be Coachable in Individual and Team Sports
The coaching relationships we've discussed so far relate to personal and workplace situations. But when we think about coaching, we can't leave out the obvious — sports.
Many of the same techniques outlined above can prepare you to be a coachable athlete, but let's look at some suggestions that apply specifically to sports.
If you want to be a coachable athlete:
- Be attentive and engaged when your coach is talking to you.
- Use positive body language (not defensiveness) when being coached.
- Accept negative feedback without attitude and work to apply it.
- Don't point fingers at other athletes or deflect blame on to them.
- Don't make excuses when you make a mistake.
- No matter how good you are, leave your ego at the door. Show some humility and a willingness to keep learning.
- Develop a sense of humor without taking things too personally.
- Learn to manage your emotions and exercise self-control on and off the field.
Just like other coaching relationships, the coach-athlete relationship is a partnership as well.
Athletes are essential to making the relationship work, so they must take responsibility for knowing what it takes to be coachable and then behaving accordingly.
Take the Coachability Quiz to Find Out if You Are Coachable.
Review the following assessment and write down the number next to each statement that reflects how true the statement is for you right now.
The higher numbers are for mostly or completely true, and the lower numbers are for mostly or completely false.
1 2 3 4 5 — I can be relied upon to be on time for all coaching sessions.
1 2 3 4 5 —This is the right time in my life for me to accept coaching.
1 2 3 4 5 — I keep my word without struggling or sabotaging.
1 2 3 4 5 — I'll give the coach the benefit of the doubt and try out new concepts or different ways of doing things.
1 2 3 4 5 — I will speak straight with my coach, telling what's really true.
1 2 3 4 5 — If I feel that I'm not getting what I need or expect from my coach, I will be able to share this as soon as I sense it and ask for what I want.
1 2 3 4 5 — I am willing to eliminate or modify the self-defeating behaviors that limit my success.
1 2 3 4 5 — I have adequate funds to pay for coaching and won't regret or suffer about the fee. I see coaching as a worthwhile investment in my life.
1 2 3 4 5 — I am willing to do the necessary mental work and action steps between sessions in order to maximize my coaching experience.
__________ My Total Score
10-20 Not coachable right now.
21-30 Coachable, but you and your coach will need to clarify how to get the most from your coaching sessions with some specific coaching around areas holding you back.
41-50 Very coachable; ask your coach to ask a lot from you!
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If you think you are ready to work with a life coach, keep an open mind and embrace this new experience.
Remember that while you should fully consider any ideas or input your coach offers, if the idea doesn’t make sense or work for you, speak up.
You are ultimately in control of the coaching partnership. Trust your instincts and judgment, as you know best what is right for you.
May whatever coaching relationship you engage in help you achieve your goals and become more self-aware.
You will never regret working with a coach — as long as you are prepared, engaged, and willing to take action.