Yoga Tribe Blog


What are the benefits of being “coachable”?

Coachability is the extent that we hear and utilize outside input and influences. To produce breakthroughs, we need to be coachable. Coachability is the willingness to be corrected and to act on that correction. When we are coachable, we are prepared to be wrong. We can withstand a high degree of candor. We are willing to let others evaluate - and perhaps even plumb the depths of our performance because we understand that the journey of personal development cannot be traveled alone. We understand that our first fiduciary obligation is to ourselves, and that obligation is to gain accurate self-knowledge and then take the next step of progress.

Coachability is not just teachability. It's not just a willingness to learn. It's a willingness to unlearn and change. Coachability is a moral capacity that allows a person to accept feedback, acknowledge faults, limitations and deficiencies, and act on the new information. Coachability is a relevant concept everywhere - at home, in the workplace and on the yoga mat.

Here's what it looks like when we are coachable:
-We do not get defensive when people offer alternatives or disagree.
-We invite and appreciate feedback.
-We ask peers, team members, managers and others to offer coaching - yes, we think being coached is a GOOD thing!
-We think about, process, consider, and occasionally use ideas we get from others.
-We stay on a learning curve - keep challenging ourselves.
-We know and can openly discuss our strengths and weaknesses.
-We handle failures well (honestly, constructively, quickly getting into action to solve).

The uncoachable seem incurious. Privately, they are either smug or insecure, which makes them dodgy and impenetrable. They don't want to touch the cold stone of reality. They bristle at unvarnished feedback. They are too sure of themselves to listen. They travel down avenues of self-importance or self-doubt. They refuse to acknowledge that there are people wise in perception all around who have the precious gift of guidance to give.

Here's what it looks like when we are being uncoachable:
-We don't listen and an invisible barrier goes up when others offer ideas.
-We get defensive - we need to be right!
-We do all our own thinking - only the weak ask for input!
-We are not interested in being coached.
-We are neither aware of nor willing to talk about our weaknesses.
-We interpret suggestions as criticism - we take everything personally.
-We dismiss the ideas and assistance of others.

Coachability is often the single most important factor that separates good leaders from great ones. There are a few good leaders and precious few great ones. Why? Is it intellect or talent? Is it passion or drive? Much of it has to do with an unwillingness to receive guidance and direction. Very often we believe we have graduated from the ranks of those who need help. It's often that belief that is the final obstacle that separates individuals from achieving their true potential.

We can improve our coachability by:
-Adopting a belief that to achieve our goals, we need to be highly coachable. When we are coachable, success comes easily and quickly.
-Change how we define "looking good" or "doing a good job."
-Reverse our belief that we need to be right to be a success. We will create more success if we focus on getting results and utilizing many ideas and perspectives.
-Recognize that there are times when we are more coachable than others.
-Ask for coaching. Ask for ideas. Ask for input. Get into dialogue about the things that matter to you.

A few more things to consider about coachability:
-We are all coachable some of the time and uncoachable some of the time.
-Some of us are uncoachable most of the time.
-You can go from being uncoachable to being coachable in an instant. Breakthroughs can occur in a moment.

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