What We Can Learn from the Highly Coachable

I’m often asked what makes someone “coachable?” Are there some people who seem to do more & go further with coaching than others? To this, my answer is, undeniably, YES!

I believe being coachable is as much about approach & attitude as it is anything else. If you are someone who wants to improve any aspect of your life, you will want to be concerned with how coachable you are.

If it’s not someone, like me, who helps you along, you can always rely on life to coach you through the perfect opportunity to be challenged & tested. The key is acknowledging and knowing what to do with the information that is being offered to you. The more coachable you are, the more awareness you’ll build, the more you’ll learn about the importance of perspective and the better you’ll become for having had the experience.

Here, as we focus on “better,” being the operative word, it all boils down to attitude and individual perception. If you want to experience more or a higher degree of anything in your life, it’s about establishing a positive relationship with change. After all, if you would like something else, then change is exactly what you need!

So, let’s dig in and look at some of the principle traits of those who are highly coachable.

Curious
Although we might blame it for “killing the cat,” curiosity is all about leading with
what you don’t know
as opposed to what you do know. Curious people allow
themselves to be in the “unknown” in order to learn, grow & improve. As children,
we all started out curious until we learned from others and life experience not to be.
We were made this way because positive growth relies, to a large extent, on
curiosity.

Open
Just as a door that’s closed cannot be entered, when we are closed off to looking at
“how we do life,” we cannot truly learn what we need to know to improve and
enter the next level of our lives.

Atypical
Let’s face it, people who are willing to lean into their discomfort in order to be,
have & perform at their best are not the norm. That’s why “the best of the best”
constitutes a much smaller percentage of the population. It takes a certain caliber
of person to be willing to do whatever it takes to shift, refashion, augment and
transform their situation and life. Yet, anyone can become better if they choose to
be this.

Cares about Growth
At the end of the day, a person who is coachable is someone who is more growth-
oriented than they are comfort-driven. Our comfort zone may be, well, comfortable,
but nothing ever grows or improves there.

High-Achiever
Anyone who wants to perform at their best knows that a big part of this is being
able to examine “all of their parts.” High-achievers always look at what they have
done to assess how they can do it better the next time, and this includes receiving
and incorporating feedback from others, as well. Even if you don’t consider yourself
a “high” achiever, working on being a “higher” achiever, can do a lot to create an
environment where more possibility and opportunities can enter.

Accountable
One of my favorite quotes is by Noel DeJesus. “Continuously lying to yourself
is just as fatal as suicide; only slower. Take ownership of your life, be
accountable to you.” Coachable people embrace the opportunity to have
others help them to be self-accountable.

Believable
No matter who you are, as a human, you have a “bull s#%&” meter. On
some level, we can all spot authenticity. Coachable people strive to be
genuine, transparent and, thus, believable. They want to make a positive
impact and they know to do this, they must show up fully as who they truly
are.

Life Learner
As Brian Herbert wrote, “the capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn
is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice.” Coachable people choose to
be life-long learners.

Enthusiastic
I mentioned before that attitude & approach are key elements to coachability.
Someone who is enthusiastic about learning & growing sees any opportunity to do this as an
adventure. With this attitude, it’s much easier to view challenge as a necessary part of the
development process.

In looking at some of the characteristics of coachable people, we can understand how these individuals can experience higher than average levels of success, fulfillment and positive life engagement. They become models for all of us on the value of choosing growth and betterment over comfort and being right and safe. Any one of us can be this kind of person. It all depends on how much we want to experience what we desire in life.

Perhaps, Michael Jordan said it most succinctly, “my best skill was that I was coachable. I was a sponge and aggressive to learn.”

Traci

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