IT SEEMS NO MATTER WHAT YOU ARE DOING THE WORD COACHABLE IS EVERYWHERE.
Whether you are playing sports, working at your job, trying to further your education or just trying to learn just about anything the word coachable comes up. I have an essential oil business in addition to health coaching and in that industry and others similar they throw the word coachable around A LOT!
The other day someone shared a chart and a book she was using to try and determine how to deal with people who wanted to grow their businesses and their mindset. The chart had one side that showed a ‘fixed mind’ and the other side showed a ‘coachable mind’. Both listed common traits of each side. She was getting a lot of rave reviews from it, but it just turned me cold because when I looked at it all I could see was judgement.
Judgement isn’t something that sits well with me. In fact I just don’t like it at all. You see, in the mindset coaching program I am a part of, they teach us that when you are judging someone you are generally subconsciously looking in a mirror, and applying things you don’t like about yourself and applying it to them. Scary huh? So looking at a chart that basically was all judgement didn’t feel right.
So what does coachable really mean?
Let’s start with what it doesn’t mean… Blindly listening to every word your mentor/boss/coach says and doing it. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but coaching isn’t bossing.
Coaching is seeing what someone else doesn’t see in themselves and helping them get to their full potential and that they are capable. I think of it more like guiding. It doesn’t involve a checklist or a cookie cutter program that works for everyone; with coaching everyone goes at their own pace. It takes patience, understanding and a desire to help. We can’t confuse that desire to help with a desire to achieve our goals; if this happens the person being coached picks up on it and then the necessary trust gets diminished and the possibility of successful coaching starts to slip away.
For someone being coached you have to remember some key things:
- You have to find the right coach! Only take coaching from someone who is where you want to be AND that doesn’t just mean finances, rank/title or lifestyle. It is more than that. They need to be a person you feel okay about. If they are where you want to be but they aren’t what you want to be, and then you might need to rethink the coach. Everyone seems like they have advice about everything and it is easy to get confused. People are really attached to the advice they give, it seems that for some it makes them feel like they are helping and that makes them feel better. All advice isn’t equal. Remember to run it by your coach because if that person isn’t where you want to be, then their advice may just be based on what they have heard and not be relevant. Be especially wary of this if it could cost you money, a promotion or reaching the next skill level.
- Being coaching means being willing to listen. Really listen. I call it actively listening or being present to listening. That means cell phone off (nope not on silent, off), and giving your coach your complete undivided attention. Take notes. If you aren’t sure, repeat it back to them and make sure you’ve got it.
- It also means being willing to think about what your coach is telling you and being open to trying it. If you start to feel resistance to what your coach is suggesting you need to take some time and really think about it. Ask yourself some questions:
Why doesn’t it feel right?
Why do you have resistance?
Is it something you don’t want to do? Is it something that doesn’t feel ethical?
Is it not in line with your personal moral code?
Why don’t you think it will work?
What do you have to lose by trying it?
What do you have to lose by not trying it?
After you do that if you can’t think of a good reason not to do it except for being afraid of doing then it is something that you should talk about with your coach and see if you can work through it.
- Trust the process and trust the coach. You chose them for a reason. You have to let go of control.
- Have faith that it will work. Unless you believe it will work, it can’t. Swat away negative mind chatter. Other people have done what you are trying to do. They were ordinary people. They weren’t any different than you. The process can be hard and it can really stretch you. Embrace the journey.
Coaching should be like collaboration. If you are trying to work through something that is hard for you, a plan needs to be created that you are willing to implement needs to be made. The plan also should feel authentic to you. If it doesn’t then you need to tweak it until it does. I remember once going through a coaching session and taking the suggestions and putting it into my presentation. The problem was something that worked wonderfully for an outgoing good old boy translated into used car salesman when this quiet introvert tried to pull it off. One of my friends pulled me aside afterwards and said… “don’t ever say that again”. So it is very important that it feels natural to you. It doesn’t mean you don’t take the suggestion, it means you make it your own.
At the end of a coaching session you should feel one of these things: inspired, challenged, motivated, excited or determined. If your coaching session ends and you are frustrated, angry or feel like crying, then the coaching isn’t working and it is time to find a different coach.
One exception is if you are doing mindset coaching and you are working at uncovering a disempowering belief. That type of coaching is quite different and in some stages of the process you leave a session needing to really dig in and try and examine your feelings. It also should always either have a follow up session scheduled or a direction to schedule one. While I am a big fan of mindset coaching and feel very happy with the program I use (Liveatchoice.com) I do think it is an area best done by an expert and have seen people in programs that I have felt weren’t serving them so be careful choosing a mindset coach.
Remember, everyone is coachable but not everyone can coach, although many believe they can. I’m reminded of a saying my husband has. “You don’t ask to go to the top, you are invited”. I believe the best coaches didn’t aspire to become coaches, they just were coaches and eventually someone asked them to coach.
For those that coach, remember as a coach we have to continually check our own motivations and make sure we are on the right path. If you are getting frustrated then likely the coaching is all about you or you are making some judgements and they probably don’t have anything to do with the person being coached. That is the time when some reflection is needed and a little reset should happen.