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Are You Coachable?

“To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.” Bruce Lee

If you’ve owned your own business, tried starting one, worked at a sport, lost weight, or learned to play an instrument, you know that progress is never linear. Inevitably you will encounter plateaus, even setbacks, in your development. So what does this have to do with entering into a relationship with a coach? Good question. There are lots of different coaches out there so let’s narrow the field down a bit to Business Development. The role of being coached by someone is difficult to say the least. It requires a certain mindset and desire for change. What does a person who owns her own business, trains for a marathon, a person who wants to lose weight and someone who wants to learn to play the cello like Yo Yo Ma have in common? In my 25 years of coaching, I can tell you the most successful person is someone who embodies these 7 qualities.


This may sound simple but it really isn’t for most people. Until someone “sees the light” so to speak, most of us believe we’re entitled to behave any way we want to. Stomping around like a 2-year-old who’s throwing a temper tantrum. Not listening, not willing to calm down until we collapse from exhaustion, etc. You get the picture. Being real means having the courage to show up without the title of your job emblazoned on your arm or your hair and makeup perfectly done. Just show up ready and willing to learn something new about you, as scary as it might be.


Simply put, this is where critical thinking takes place. It’s about hearing something that goes against everything you know is true and then, asking a better question. Not the, “that’s stupid!” or “that’s impossible!” An effective way to speed up the learning curve when it comes to a coaching program is to internalize the information, giving time and space to digest it and then asking yourself and the coach better questions.


If you have an insight into yourself and do nothing, the insight fades away. If however, you take one specific action, this insight starts to grow roots. Then as you experiment more, this insight becomes real for you and you literally alter or create a paradigm shift in your behavior. My point is to take action immediately after you’ve learned something new about yourself.


Humility shows us that there are things we need to do that we cannot do on our own. Humility can’t be attained by reading a book or taking a class. It happens at a cellular level… Experiential if you will…Humility is about a change of heart rather than a change of mind.


Seems most people confuse surrender with giving up on oneself, when in fact, it’s the complete opposite in the context of growth and development. Control is an illusion. We insist that we’ll only give up control once we’ve seen results. I dare say we only get results if we’re willing to give up the illusion we have any control at all. Ironically, the reason why most of us need a coach in the first place is to simply learn how to give up control. This to me is the hardest of all concepts to let in. It’s experiential in nature to be present and in being present there is no control, only what’s happening right in front of you. Authentic and lasting change is a journey into the unknown; into uncertainty.


The problem with life is that it must be lived forward and only understood backwards. An alcoholic only truly understands the benefits of sobriety when he or she becomes sober. Faith ventures into the area of “what I don’t know I don’t know”- a concept I learned years ago through my work with Landmark Education. Ponder that for a while. “If I knew then what I know now I would’ve changed years ago”. Again, only hindsight is 20/20. I highly recommend a leap of faith as often as possible. It exponentially speeds up the process of learning and ultimately that’s what we’re all looking for.


Get excited already! How many people do you know, right now as your hearing this or reading this that are the walking dead? Seriously, they talk about their problems day and night; they complain about everyone and everything and in short just make you miserable to be around them? There is a cure I promise you. Whining and complaining are learned behaviors. As you’ll soon find out. So bring on the happy.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

Mahatma Gandhi

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