How Coachable Are You?

October 10, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Henry David Thoreau observed, “It is as hard to see oneself as to look backwards without turning around.” I’m inclined to agree. 

On a scale from 1-to-10, how would you rate yourself on coachability?

While you’re pondering that, let me tell you just how vital a leadership attribute this is. Coachability is the willingness to be corrected and to act on that correction. When we are coachable, we are prepared to be wrong. We can withstand a high degree of candour. We are willing to let others evaluate — and perhaps even plumb the depths of our performance because we understand that the journey of personal development cannot be travelled alone. We understand that our first fiduciary obligation is to ourselves, and that obligation is to gain accurate self-knowledge and then take the next step of progress. For the highly coachable, feedback, as the saying goes, really is the breakfast of champions.

As we commented in our blog (Are you wearing a mask?) we observe many leaders who are dreadful at understanding themselves. They bristle at unvarnished feedback. They are too sure of themselves to listen. They travel down avenues of self-importance or self-doubt.

Those on the pride side of the line want to be the only pebble on the beach; they want people to be lap dogs of validation and refuse to acknowledge that there are people all around then who are wise in perception and have the precious gift of guidance to give. They can’t bear the thought of bad press or the possibility that someone might find a cockroach behind the wall. They prefer polite society, cocktail-party talk, fulsome praise and a fabled reality.

They don’t speak truth to the power of themselves. The juice is not worth the squeeze.

So . . . how coachable are you? Remember, on a scale of 1 to 10.

 



Tags: Feedback Executive Coaching Feedforward
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Posted by Wilma on
I was srieously at DefCon 5 until I saw this post.
Posted by David Eggleton on
The most valuable part of the coaching for me when I had a program was the feedback I received. It is something my bosses have always been bad at, and I was too with my team until I learned how to do it with my coach.
Posted by Fatma on
I think it is possible to do both, just as AL irntgeates L&D with problem solving. It would be important to be clear on what is being assessed/monitored for performance reporting e.g. committment to L&D observed in continuous improvement, self awareness or effectiveness in problem solving using AL to identify actions and implement them. Depending on the performance management processes it may be possible to use the same performance evaluation used in the AL process. If team work' is a performance measure the manager might at the commencement of the performance period ask the person what behaviours/activities will illustrate your team work?' The review may then be along the lines of how did you go with your team work? Can you give some examples?' The frequency of reviews and progress toward final performance report is also important. The more frequent the review the more opportunity for self-regulated improvement and positive performance feedback, early identification of problem performance or need to develop different performance measures.
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