This topic emerged while I was preparing for a corporate client webinar for sales managers with the simple title, "How To Coach with Confidence". A lot of good research plus personal experiences show that most managers want to coach--they just aren't sure of the most effective ways to do it. Or, what people are really expecting.
They also wonder about this:
Who Is Coachable?
The fact is, everyone isn't. Those who are uncoachable often think they have no performance issues and if there is one, believe everyone "out there" is the cause. 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 someone to reflect on one's own behavior, create a desire to change it, or see their personal responsibility in a relationship. So, forcing someone into a coaching relationship isn't the best organizational solution for certain issues and individuals.
If you are considering coaching someone else or being coached, here 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're perfect, 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 themselves. 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 themselves. Willing to engage in topics that may be uncomfortable but are getting in the way of their professional 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.
You may have some others that you use to gauge coachability. Take a moment to add your tips with a comment below.
Important Update About Comments at All Things Workplace
I just invited comments in the post above and do hope that our readers--many with a lot of managerial experience--take time to weigh in.
That said, I want to share some information regarding my own ability to engage in the give and take of commenting.
Since May my dear wife, Barb, has spent most of the time either hospitalized or receiving physical therapy at a rehab facility. She has Parkinson's Disease as well as other related neurological challenges. Obviously, my first priority is ensuring that Barb is safe and continually receiving the care and attention she needs, not the least of which is our relationship.
I still read all of the comments submitted. All Things Workplace has been a place, since 2006, where people can create conversations and interactive learning without my presence because of their own interest, experience, and enthusiasm about growth and development in organizational life.
I'll continue posting regularly; please keep using the site as a place to exchange ideas, tips, and research. I will certainly add my two cents when I can and look forward to learning from everyone who graciously takes time to add to the topic at hand.