We seek a coach because we realize that we are blind to many aspects of ourselves that others can plainly see. They can see strengths and weaknesses we never knew we had, but we can’t benefit from their insight unless we are willing to hear what they have to say. The coach serves as our mirror if we are willing to look and listen.We normally seek coaching only when we realize the value of the insight that a coach can provide. This is typically when we have gone as far as we think we can go on our own accord without outside assistance. Either that, or we have failed in something we tried to do, and we seek out someone who can help us to succeed where we previously failed.
As we strive towards the pinnacle of our profession, coaching becomes more and more crucial. We will usually find that the leaders in whatever field we are trying to master often have several coaches, with each one focused on different aspects of our game. When we seek to improve ourselves and optimize our performance, we come to depend on the comments of our coaches.The challenge is that most of us aren’t really open to coaching. We try to hide behind a facade of who we want the world to think we are, as opposed to who we really are. To be coachable often means to be brutally honest with ourselves and with others. A coach can’t do anything for us unless we are willing to be straight with them. That necessitates an element of trust and vulnerability on our part.Our coach may be someone who has already accomplished what we want to do, or they might be someone whom we respect simply because of their wisdom and insight. We have to believe in them, that they can help us get where we want to go. Equally important, they have to believe in us and be committed to see us win. Our coach will by definition believe in us even when we don’t believe in ourselves.
For our part, we have to put up with our coaches confronting us when our integrity is in question, and pushing us beyond where we think we can go. We have to believe they have our best interest in mind, that they believe in us even when our belief in ourselves falters. Most of all, we have to listen even when what they say is not what we want to hear. That is the art of being coachable.