Good at listening, open to change, able to change, able to let go and good at reflection
My best skill was that I was coachable. I was a sponge and aggressive to learn.
― Michael Jordan
Whilst most of us prefer to have a leader who is experienced, smart and inspiration. Most of us as leaders, have blind spots or areas that we need to grow in. Our boss may have indeed hired us to cover one of those blind spots for them or the organization. And let us not forget the world does not stay still for anyone, whether the market changes, completion takes some of our space, technology opens new doors or we evolve as a human race – we need a leader who can change, adapt and grow. Part of this is on us, how can we help our leader be better.
On the other side we like people who report to us that are coachable, if people see you are coachable, they will often help you through any trouble times, or mistakes you make. Lets face it, you will make mistakes or delay a decision, something. If your team know you are coachable you and your team will often grow into something stronger.
If you are coachable you are more likely be able to accept new evidence/new data and change your perspective. Rather than force the new thing, into your world view, or force it into a pattern you were trying to prove.
If you are coachable, you less likely to be stubborn, judgement and people are more likely to come to you with ideas and concerns because they feel psychological safe.
Core elements to being coachable
- Be present and process feedback and be able taken criticism
- Choose the rights moments for feedback, get their permission that this is a good time
- Insist on the specifics in receiving feedback
- Be CURIOUS
- Reflect and not just when things go wrong
- Be vulnerable
- Take action on feedback and close the loop with those action
- Acknowledge, appreciation and invite more feedback
Challenges to Coachability
I have seen the lack of coachability in managers who were promoted above their ability or just too fast, some are coached to success, but working under a manager/boss/leader that is un-coachable, sucks.
- Too opinionated/know it all/defensive in feedback situations
- Too critical of others/Judgmental
- A poor listener/ multi-tasking/ always on computer or on phone during meetings
- Too blunt and too bold/lacks empathy/too controlling
- Too intense
- Too “me” focused/They find blame elsewhere
- Too difficult/ unable to connect to others
- Too nice
- Not “edgy” enough
- Too attached to the details/unable to see the big picture/They are not open to new ways of looking at a situation
- Too slow to make decisions
- Too easy on performance issues
- They are unwilling to be vulnerable
- Unable to change/stubborn/unable to explain their decisions/does not action feedback
- Unable to recognize gaps and cover him/self aware
- Picks on bad examples , rather than the story -> Receives feedback and says no, that is not the case,
- Victims of their own data
“Coachable people seek out those who speak truth to them, even if it is a painful truth, because it protects them and it makes them a better person and leader.”
― Gary Rohrmayer
Resources for Coachable:
- Blog -> The Eight Habits Of Remarkably Coachable Leaders
- Blog -> Are You a Coachable Leader?
- Blog -> Coachability: What is it, can we measure it, and why it matters
- Book -> Thanks for the Feedback
- Webinar -> How Coachable Are Your Leaders?
- Slides -> How Coachable Are Your Leaders?
- Blog -> How to Solicit Negative Feedback When Your Manager Doesn’t Want to Give It