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Being coachable is a highly desirable trait to any employer.
The ability to grow, learn, improve and excel or peak perform doesn’t stop as you progress your career and the ability to grow and learn as you move through life shouldn’t be underestimated. Being flexible means you're ready to do what it takes to change and transform whether that be in your personal or professional life.
Coachability, quite simply, means that a person is receptive to feedback, to receiving constructive criticism, and will use that feedback and constructive criticism to improve his/her/their workplace performance. It refers to one’s ability to learn and grow from the instruction of another, be it a teacher, mentor, or peer.
A coachable employee is someone who incorporates feedback and instructions to be successful throughout their career. These people tend to look for opportunities to learn from their mentors, supervisors, and peers daily. Coachable employees are team players who understand that group success relies on individual cooperation, and they know that they must accept criticism, uplift their teammates, and embrace differences to produce excellent work.
In contrast, an employee that is difficult to coach will, deflect, make excuses, blame others, and generally have a bad attitude when their performance is being discussed.
The ability to be coached is one of the most important traits of a successful leader. Being coachable is about realising your continued success requires being open to learn from others, confronting uncomfortable truths, working hard, and amplifying your performance.
For an employee, being coachable has many benefits, such as, increasing job satisfaction, becoming a better collaborator, and opening lots of opportunities for career growth
Coachability begins with a foundational willingness to learn and improve and coachable employees do not view feedback as an insult to their character or abilities. Instead, coachable employees give thanks for the feedback they receive without being sensitive or dramatic. Employees need to view coaching positively and consider that the organisation wants to invest in them, not a sign they doubt the employee’s value.
One of the most powerful and effective things you can do is to sincerely ask for feedback from your colleagues, especially your boss. It can be as simple as asking, “Give me one suggestion for what I could do to be more effective in my job.” Try and make these questions open and inviting to a discussion.
Following on from this, you need to make sure you understand the seriousness or importance of the feedback. It could be a casual suggestion, or it could be career limiting. Make certain you know which and if you’re uncertain about the exact meaning of the feedback, seek examples that will illustrate the message.
A deep and driven desire to learn and be better is foundational to a coachable mindset. A desire to learn, and a commitment to personal and organisational success is a bedrock for coachability.
A coachable employee will know what they want to achieve in their careers. They may not always know which path they want to take, but they always have concrete achievements they want to make. They are driven to take the necessary steps to achieve their goals.
Self-reflection is an important element of a coachable mindset. Honest self-reflection brings about actionable self-awareness.
To improve this skill, engage in social activities that get you out of your comfort zone. One of the easiest ways to exercise this skill is to have a conversation with someone who has views you don’t agree with. Try to listen and understand the other person’s point of view. Don’t try to respond as soon as possible. Listen, think, and absorb what the other person is saying. If you feel defensive or frustrated, ask questions to help you see eye to eye with them.
Having the courage to do something you’re not good at or don’t have confidence in takes patience. For example, embarking on a project that you want to be a part of but have little experience doing. Commit to doing this activity by making an appointment and tell someone you’re going to do it to keep yourself accountable. Achieving goals takes courage, even if you are willing and have the desire. To be coachable, you must dig deeper and uncover the root of your fears and the cause of what stops you. When you’re able to explore each fear, you’ll often find that they’re baseless.
Set yourself “SMART” goals, which stands for - specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Any measurable activity is a good one to exercise goal setting and risk-taking. In a work situation you could sit down you’re your manager and discuss / write down goals you want to see yourself accomplish in your role. This makes it clear and easy to assess your progress.
We recommend you ask a few specific questions about your performance. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or extensive, just demonstrate that you are taking an interest in other people’s perspective and modelling the receiving side of coaching. You can also use the information you gather to enhance your self-awareness and discover how people respond to your style and approach.
Here are a few questions that can initiate receiving feedback:
The questions above will demonstrate your active interest in being coached. However, it is important to listen intently and try to take the person’s feedback on board without getting defensive. The ability to demonstrate respect for their ideas and perspective is a key part of communicating the right message to the other person.
If your efforts to improve your coachability are not going well, it may be best to seek professional help from a life coach. Many people seek for professional experience at all levels throughout a company. Alternatively, if you would like to discuss this information in any more detail, don’t hesitate to get in touch. One of our experienced consultants will be happy to support you +44 (0)118 988 1150 - Harry.firstname.lastname@example.org
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