One thing that all great athletes have in common is that they have a coach. They know that if they want to perform at their best, they need someone coaching them. But these athletes don’t just have a coach because it’s cool; they listen to their coaches and do the work. That’s the only way to unleash their full potential.
Well, managers aren’t so different from athletes.
According to Scott Osman, founder and CEO of the 100 Coaches Agency and one of our guests today, having a coach is one of the most competitive advantages any executive can have. In fact, he considers it a badge of honor. His colleague, Jacquelyn Lane, president of the 100 Coaches Agency, explains that getting a coach is a sign that you care about the people you are responsible for because it shows that you’re invested in your growth and becoming a better human being.
But how can someone as knowledgeable and skillful as a manager take advantage of what a coach has to offer?
That’s where being coachable comes in.
What is Coachability and Why it Matters
Coachability is a term that often pops up in personal development, sports, and professional growth.
It refers to an individual’s willingness and ability to receive coaching and apply it constructively to improve themselves or their performance. Simply put, it’s about being open to learning and adapting based on input from others.
Now, you might wonder why coachability matters.
First, coachability recognizes that no matter how experienced or knowledgeable you are, there’s always room for improvement. A coachable person understands that they don’t have all the answers and that seeking advice or guidance from others can lead to better results.
As Scott said, if you, as a leader, take your responsibilities seriously, then you really want to be the best leader you can be, and a coach can help you get there. A coach enables you to see your blind spots and pushes you to be better at what you do.
The Openness Framework
Through their years of experience working with coaches and coaching leaders, Scott and Jacquelyn identified four aspects of being coachable, which they call the Openness Framework.
1. Open to Change
Most of us would say that we’re open to change. But for those who think they have all the answers, it can be challenging for them to really embrace the fact that they are imperfect. In other words, being open to change begins with accepting that the way you are now isn’t your full potential. You can be even better.
To become coachable, Scott says you must first acknowledge that you don’t have all the answers. You must be willing to let go of your own limitations, beliefs, and old patterns in order to grow in new ways.
2. Open to Receiving Feedback
Being open to feedback builds on the fact that we don’t have all the answers. But guess what? Those people you’re managing have answers because they can simply see things that we don’t.
It’s essential to seek feedback in order to illuminate our blind spots constantly. Feedback is such a powerful catalyst for change because it helps us identify areas for improvement and provides data on our progress.
3. Willing to Take Action
As Scott put it, you can be open to change and receiving feedback, but if you aren’t willing to take action, then you’re really not coachable. Your coaches want you to succeed, but they can’t do the work for you. The only way to see changes come to fruition is if you take action.
4. Being Held Accountable
Who doesn’t love a good excuse? Jacquelyn affirmed that it's totally normal to put off or avoid the things we know we should be doing. But, exploring what got in the way instead of rationalizing your choices is essential to making progress. Jacquelyn recommends having someone (like a coach!) who can check in with you from time to time to reflect on whether you’re following through on the decisions, actions, and values you’ve committed to.
Mastering coachability is a valuable trait for any leader, whether you’re a first-time manager or a C-suite executive. So, whether you’re looking to advance in your career or just become a better version of yourself, being coachable is a key step on that journey. And you can only become coachable when you diligently practice these four key concepts above.
For an in-depth discussion about becoming more coachable and what are the steps to make it possible, listen to my entire conversation with Scott and Jacquelyn HERE.
Connect with Scott and Jacquelyn:
- Follow Scott on LinkedIn here
- Follow Jacquelyn on LinkedIn here
- Grab a copy of their book here
- Visit 100 Coaches Agency for more information here
Free Kindle edition of Becoming Coachable
Members of The Modern Manager community can receive a free Kindle edition of Becoming Coachable. Imbued with decades of experience at the highest echelons of the industry, Becoming Coachable guides readers through the ins and outs of a successful coaching experience.
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