Being Coachable Can Be Hard
The ability to be coachable is not a skill that comes easy to everyone. In fact, it is a skill-set that needs to be learned, groomed, and honed. Before you can dive into the emotional complexities of receiving, accepting, and implementing constructive feedback you have to understand where you are on the spectrum of coachability.
“We understand that most people are coachable, but not everyone is coachable at a particular time,” according to Optimal Thinking
What Does It Mean To Be Coachable?
Being coachable means that you respectfully welcome new perspectives and actively seek feedback that will identify your growth opportunities while also creating a plan to improve the weak points.
"Y Tho"? How Will Being Coachable Improve My Success?
Everyone should strive to be open to coaching no matter what their experience level, age, or education background. Choosing to be a lifelong learner can improve your chances of success. Learning directly correlates to mastering, but how can you master a skill without someone giving you feedback along the way? That is where coaching comes into play.
Here are a few ways that being coachable can set you up for success:
- Creates a well-rounded individual - The more open you are to feedback the better you become as a person, coworker, and employee.
- Allows you to stand out - True coachability is actually a rare talent that employers are searching for hand over fist. The more receptive you are to feedback the more valuable you become.
- Makes you more collaborative - if you are willing to listen to the opinions of others with an open mind, you are more likely to gain their mutual respect. A collaborative environment can only thrive with transparency and the sharing of ideas.
- Improves self-awareness - ever hear someone say “I just don’t understand why I didn’t get the job”? Being open to evaluation can give you a snapshot of how you appear to others. Giving you the opportunity to self-correct.
Photo Credit: Know Your Meme
The ability to be coachable comes with a ton of growth opportunities. Without improvement you can’t rise to higher levels of success. Close-mindedness creates stagnation. Here are a few steps to help you improve your coachability.
Step 1: Seeking Feedback - The Jumping Off Point
The first step to self-improvement is figuring out where to start. It can be hard to know if you are a coachable person or where you fall on the spectrum. Here are a couple of ways that will help identify where you are:
- Ask a colleague - Sometimes the best evaluation is performed by the people that sit right next to you. Don't be afraid to go to a peer to ask where they view your acceptance of feedback. Just remember to ask very direct questions or come prepared with examples.
- Take a coachability Assessment Quiz - While these tests don’t tell the whole story they can help you identify some general areas that you may struggle most in and give you some direction on how you respond to specific situation. Just remember to be honest when answering the questions.
Step 2: Personal Evaluation - Do You
It can be hard to hear and accept feedback without understanding how you receive it! That is why it is crucial for you to truly get to know yourself. Particularly, your communication patterns and how you interact with others.
Personality type - Personality type can be a huge help when you are determining how you are likely to react to and receive criticism. Understanding your stress behaviors, motivators, and communication patterns will allow you to optimize your acceptance of feedback.
Communication style - Knowing your professional love language can be extremely helpful when navigating something as vulnerable as critics. Knowing your motivators can help you determine what type of feedback you are looking to get (read on to see the different types of feedback).
Step 3: Receiving and Accepting - Do Better
There is nothing more scary than hearing about your unknown weaknesses. Even worse, is receiving feedback that seems useless or condescending. We’ve all experienced the dreaded “feedback sandwich” and all know that in many cases the first “compliment” comes across as insincere. That’s where being educated on types of feedback and setting expectations comes into play.
The Types of Feedback - There are many types of feedback but for the purpose of this step we will focus on the two broad types. When seeking feedback it is important to know which type you need to achieve your goal.
- Critical - The dissection of the weak points of a project. Without the correct expectations the coach may feel that you want them to search for the problems. Honestly if you look hard enough a flaw can always be found.
- Validation - This is feedback that highlights the positives of a project. It can be discouraging to receive criticism when you were looking for a “good job buddy” or desiring a discussion about how much you have improved.
Photo Credit: Adam Grant
- Explain what type of feedback you want
- Start by clearly defining areas that you want to improvement
- Establish the intentions of this feedback
- Ask for an action plan
Step 4: Implementing - The Follow Through
The biggest mistake that people make when trying to change a problem area is failing to make a plan of action. How can you improve without understanding where to start and how to measure the improvement?Here are a few reminders to help you make it to the finish line:
- Take a breath - Remind yourself that this feedback is meant to be helpful not harmful.
- Make a plan - Always make sure that when setting a goal you follow the SMART rule.
- Follow up - Make a plan to revisit the “issue” at a later date to measure your success.
Most importantly remember to:
Photo Credit: GIPHY
Stay tuned for the next dissection of Delivering Results! Tell us about a technique that you use when receiving or giving feedback.