As I enter my 16th year as an executive coach, I came across my first article for the Small Business Monthly that was published in January 2003. At the time, there weren’t many executive coaches, so my article was intended to educate and inform. Interestingly, 13 years later it’s still relevant. So here is the article, with some modifications, to see if you are in fact, coachable.
Are you coachable?
No? Then don’t waste your time and delete this post.
Yes, or sometimes? Read on and see if you’re being honest with yourself.
For me, one of the foundations of success and being coachable is that people operate out of B.E.D. (Blame, Excuses and Denial)
Here’s the distinction of operating out of B.E.D.:
If you’re coachable, you’re willing to take ownership, accountability and responsibility for your words, decisions and actions. And if you’re the kind of person who often has a reason why you’re right and the other guy is wrong, or thinks that you’re being taken advantage of, or that it’s not your fault that…, or someone else didn’t fulfill their promise… or the dog ate your homework…
You’ve got the picture…
The point is, this looks easy. When I first saw a version of this model several years ago, I thought “Well, don’t blame or make excuses… that’s just who I am…I’m an ownership kind of gal.”
THEN, I started listening to myself.
Whoa Nellie! Was that a slippery excuse? Was that blame-bashing masked in condescending self-righteousness? Or was there just plain denial with a straight face and an innocent “Who Me?” look?
If you’re really coachable, then your assignment is to listen to yourself for at least one day. It’s easy to recognize it in other people. That’s not the point, though. This is about you. Otherwise it could lead to another case of being in B.E.D. (Blame Excuses and Denial.)
There are other nuances about being coachable that are important, in addition to taking ownership and accountability.
One is that coaching isn’t about having the answers – it’s about the questions.
It’s about an unbridled exploration of questions of what works best for you and your company, your customers, shareholders and employees. It’s about exploring options and alternatives before taking action.
It’s about integrity. It’s having your thoughts, words and actions aligned, consistent and standing for what you believe in and taking actions that are for the good of the whole.
It’s about being willing to “stand naked in front of the mirror” about who you are as a leader. (Trust me, I mean this figuratively!) It means that you’re willing to look at how you really operate and how you can improve.
Unfortunately we live in a world right now that has not adequately trained us, nor does it sufficiently support us in operating, with full ownership and accountability, being in integrity or asking questions. The recent events of some of our major organizations and institutions such GM, Volkswagon, Wall Street investment firms to name a few, have heightened the awareness of need to elevate our integrity-consciousness. (NOTE: the original article referenced scandals in the Catholic church and FBI, Enron and Arthur Andersen… remember them?)
Listen to the media or even to conversations of the people around you…entitlement, cover-ups and litigious-ness are rampant. Just listen. Is this the kind of world you want to live in?
So, what does this have to do with you and why is it important to know if you’re coachable?
As business and community leaders, whether you like it or not, or agree with it or not, you’re responsible for the results you produce. And there are a lot of people who look to you as a role model and depend on your decisions and actions. It comes with the territory of being a leader. There are livelihoods and families at stake. And your actions impact our communities.
Marty Stanley, CSP, Certified Speaking Professional, speaks, trains and coaches people on how to change how they get results and creating cultures of ownership, accountability and responsibility. firstname.lastname@example.org 816-695-5453.
Are you ready for executive coaching?