Are You Coachable?

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On August 27, 2012

Few people get to be great on their own. Even exceptionally gifted and talented individuals look to others to help them “take it to the next level.” Professional golfers (who are already way better than we’ll ever be) have swing coaches. Great actors hire dialect coaches to help them prepare for a role. These folks are already very good at what they do—but they want to be great.

Few business leaders get to be great on their own, either. The great ones are always looking for ways to improve what they do. Often, that involves enlisting the services of a business coach. But here’s a statement you might find odd coming from a business coach: “Hiring a business coach won’t make you better!”

It still comes down to you. Spending time and money on a business coach won’t get you anywhere if you’re not coachable. You know the old adage: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” The same is true for business leaders.

Are you coachable? Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you pick up the phone to call a business coach.

  • Am I open to learning and change? Much of business today is about being flexible—about keeping abreast with change and relearning how to do business. Companies that have refused to change are either struggling or gone. This can be tough—especially if you have years of hard-won experience. But if you can’t learn and change, you’re in for a rough ride.
  • Am I willing to do whatever it takes? Becoming excellent at something is hard work. Sometimes it’s physically demanding, but more often than not, the biggest challenges are mental—and even emotional. Are you willing to put in the hours of work, and are you willing to have someone challenge some of your dearly held assumptions?
  • Am I willing to be accountable? Coaching of any kind won’t work without accountability. That can be especially tough for entrepreneurial types who are used to bucking the system. But if you want to get great, you have to be willing to have someone hold you to your goals and your promises.

When a swing coach works with a professional golfer, he asks him to do things that feel unnatural—even “wrong.” But a player who isn’t coachable will never improve his swing if he won’t let someone coach him. Are you coachable?

As I mentioned above, being open to learn and change is absolutely critical for success. I’d like to remind you about an opportunity to learn to change the way you make decisions—and to make better decisions. I’d love to have you join me at the Gazelles Rockefeller Habits/4 Decisions Workshop on September 26, 2012 in Colorado Springs, CO. It’s a great event for CEOs and their leadership teams. Check out this seminar and sign up today!