They say that in football (okay, in American football) defense wins games. That seems to be the case, especially in the big games.
It’s a very different story in the game of self-improvement. Defense loses. Loses big as a matter of fact. The more defensive you are when someone is giving you advice the harder it will be for you to succeed.
Every long-term successful person I know has had or does have a coach or a mentor. It’s usually someone that they admire. Perhaps it’s someone they aspire to be like. Whatever the case, it’s always someone they trust and they trust them enough to let their defenses down and really listen to what they have to say.
If you’re going to be coachable enough to accelerate your chances at success you’re going to have to accept that pretty much everything your coach or mentor tells you is possible.
It’s possible you’re not as good as you think you are in some areas. It’s possible that other people see some things in you that you don’t see in yourself. It’s even possible that you’re better in some areas than you think you are.
If you’ve chosen the right coach or mentor then LISTEN to them. Not only is it possible they are right, it is likely that they are right.
Here’s a little test to determine if you’re really listening – after you’re offered advice do you respond with a quick “yes, but?” That quick “yes, but” is a good indicator that you’re not listening. Now, you crafty people that never say that – if you’re thinking it then that is another good indicator that you’re not really listening.
Coachable people are great listeners. They are willing to learn from anyone. They consider all advice; even the advice they eventually discard was considered for it’s possibilities.
If you are fortunate enough to have a coach or a mentor then follow their advice. They have your best interests at heart. Listen to them, watch them, learn from them. You can take years off your journey to success if you’re willing to accept the fact that other people may just know some stuff that you don’t.
One last thought – some of those people that might know something you don’t…. well some of those people might just be people that you don’t trust. They might be people that you don’t like.
If you’re open minded you can still learn from those people. They may not intend to help you but if you pay close attention you can learn from them. You may learn what to do or you may learn what not to do but either way you learn. All knowledge is useful when you’re striving to succeed.
The most successful people learn something everyday and they are willing to learn from anyone.
Are you coachable enough and successful enough to do that?
7 thoughts on “How Coachable Are You?”
I’m pretty putty,mold me,,,,heres my email send me yours and I will tell U THINGS,,,,.I’m smart enough to know your smart enough to help us help the world,,looking forward,,,ur in charge
I disagree with your description of coaching. You say coaches give advice. A “true” coach that has gone through an accredited training program and is certified rarely tells the client what to do. A real coach helps the client discover who they are and then brings those gifts to the surface to create a game plan they’ll create and follow through on.
If you’re mentoring, that’s a different story. I mentor and do give advice.
The coach word is fashionable and used too loosely today. People say they’re a coach because it’s cool sounding.
I think we’re splitting hairs here. If I have coach without an opinion of what I should do then I don’t really have a coach at all. Coaches have the ability to influence people to right action and sometimes that will require actually telling them something.
Coaching is NOT fashionable, it is hard but rewarding work.
I want to comment that is so true that there are people who don’t want to help to you that you can learn from if you keep an open mind. I also suggest that you ask the right questions to draw the info. out of them. Just last week I sent an email to someone and their initial reply was very short & I could see they didn’t want to help (even though I knew they had the answer). I took a few moments & a deep breath & decided to email again this time re wording my questions in anway to connect them with the persons position, expertise and responisbility in the org and I got a completely different respond with the answers and direction that I needed.
Ha, that deep breath you write about is a key. You could have made it worse but even that momentary pause helped you make it better!
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All great leaders were once great followers. So how coachable are you?