Are You Coachable?

red raiders coach photo credit Keith Johnston

At Momentum Consulting, we have basic fundamentals and choose to review one per week. This week, we are studying the Fundamental “BE DEDICATED TO PERSONAL GROWTH.” I struggle with this one.

Maybe it’s ironic, but as an executive coach …I don’t consider myself very coachable.

I may have gotten a little more coachable over the years, but my default in hearing feedback is not to listen, but instead listen to the voice in my head that says,

“I know this already.”

I do love learning. I love learning about Italy, or how to cook something new, or all 50 state capitals but I’m not always that interested when my coach tells me something like, “Hey, I’m noticing a blind spot you have.” So for all you know-it-all’s like me, this week’s blog is dedicated to you.

I feel you.

As I get older, I notice my way of doing things becomes a deeper groove that is harder to get out of. This tends to make seeing the perspective of others a bit more difficult.

Being dedicated to personal growth is all about being comfortable in that discomfort zone. It’s about putting our egos aside and letting our higher Self flourish. This takes something extra for many of us, and I say that element is trust.

Personally I know I’m far more open to feedback from those I trust. When I don’t trust someone, I hear the coaching as criticism.

Here at Momentum, each of us participates in an ongoing practice of receiving coaching from each other. This keeps us accountable for our impact on a regular basis.

As recently as last year, I noticed the degree to which I was resisting coaching from our very own president, Marlene Clark. Marlene is one of the most highly trained, loving and experienced coaches I’ve ever known. She’s worked with many CEOs and leadership teams all over the world.

Last year she and I were working as part of a bigger team overseas with a client when I had a light bulb moment with her. She was telling me something about myself, and I wasn’t listening. I was only listening to my own thoughts that were silently defending everything she was “accusing” me of.

But then I woke up.

All of a sudden I started to hear what she was saying. And what she was saying was brilliant and helpful. She was making a difference for me like she had tried to do many times before, but I had rarely allowed. It was liberating for me and has done wonders for our relationship ever since.

In the definition of this fundamental it says to “Challenge yourself to take risks …” One of the risks I take when I’m dedicated to personal growth is the risk of not being right. Not a terribly noble risk, but an ever-present one for me. When I do that, a whole world of growth opens up.

Thanks Marlene.

Many of my clients inspire me every week to take this risk by the way. What is your risk that would challenge you to grow?

We’d like to hear it.


Fundamental of the Week #17: BE DEDICATED TO PERSONAL GROWTH   Be a lifetime learner.  Challenge yourself to take risks and operate outside of your comfort zone.  Solicit feedback and learn from mistakes. Understand the nature of causing breakthroughs and live it as a discipline.  Believe in Magic. 

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