Not everyone is. Those who are un-coachable often think they have no performance issues and believe everyone “out there” is the cause of the unfounded accusation. In these cases, coaching isn’t a very good option to produce positive results. It’s kind of like one spouse dragging another to marriage counseling in the hope that the counselor can “fix” the partner. (Ever see how well that works?). The sticking point here is a mindset that doesn’t allow one to reflect on personal behavior, a desire to change it, or mutual responsibility for a relationship. Forcing someone into a coaching relationship isn’t the best organizational solution for certain individuals.
If you are considering being coached or having someone on your team coached below are five attributes I’ve observed in people who successfully “own” their part of the coaching process. You might want to use this as a quick diagnostic tool.
1. Committed to Change. Individuals who don’t think they are perfect, that want to improve, exhibit responsibility for their lives, and are willing to step outside of their comfort zones are good candidates for a successful coaching relationship.
2. Open to information about one’s self. Be willing and able to listen and hear constructive criticism without being defensive; then, synthesize their coach’s suggestions with their own personal reflections on the issue.
3. Open about one’s self. Willing to engage in topics that may be uncomfortable but are getting in the way of their professional growth and development; talks about “what’s really going on” so the coach can have a complete and honest picture of the total situation.
4. Appreciate New Perspectives. People who get excited about hearing someone else’s take on a situation and figure out how to learn from it can really benefit from coaching.
5. Awareness about one’s self and others. Coachable people already have at least a fair amount of awareness about themselves. Equally important, they use it to reflect on their behavior and how it impacts other people in the range of situations that come their way.