Leadership Coaching: Ready to Do the Work?

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Who is coachable?

How coachable are you? 

How do you know how coachable you are?

I’m often asked whether I believe that everyone is coachable. The answer? Yes, I do believe anyone is coachable – as long as they are ready. Being ready is more than showing up – as essential as that part is.

Being ready is a function of several variables including being ready to look straight into your reflection and learn about yourself, ready to identify your opportunities to grow and develop to achieve what you truly want, and ready to challenge yourself to do things differently in order to get a new result or perspective.

Gazing into Your Reflection

The cold truth is that your challenges with others aren’t about them. It isn’t (entirely) their fault. Relationships are give-and-take and you train people how to treat you. Take note of this because you have also trained yourself ‘how to treat you.’

When you work with a coach, questions will surface about your beliefs, your assumptions, and how you see the world. This reflection can be insightful, powerful – and uncomfortable. 

Recognizing Opportunities to Grow

You don’t need to know everything about your goal. You and your coach will be able to define that more thoroughly. As a starting point, have a sense of your pain points and what success looks or feels like to you.

Not sure what those are? That can be part of the discovery in conversation with a coach. That said, I do see some topics pretty regularly among my clients that sound like: 

  • My communication with the Board/Execs/My Boss doesn’t seem to be landing and I’m not sure how to change that. I feel frustrated and unheard.
  • I have been (or want to be) promoted and I feel like there’s so much to learn, do, and absorb. I’m a bit overwhelmed. 

The ‘introverted skeptics’ I love to coach might share challenges like these:

  • There are so many people demanding my attention and I don’t have time to do the work I need to do. I’m exhausted.
  • While I’m supportive of the organization as a whole but I disagree with some of the risks they are taking – and they don’t seem to see or acknowledge them. I’m asking the questions – and told I’m negative and not a team player.

Accepting the Challenge

This is not easy work and it can be easily underestimated, so be honest with yourself about your willingness to make a change. Again, coaching isn’t about fixing other people or outside situations to suit your preferences. Coaching helps you see your circumstances from a different perspective and ideally supports you in making decisions that honor what you want to accomplish.

You have spent time existing with the situation you are in and there aren’t quick solutions to help you navigate forward – so coaching may be part of the solution. It’s not just the idea of ‘what got you here won’t get you there’. It’s also about facing the fear or other challenging emotions that have kept you from moving forward in the past.

So, What’s the Answer? Are You Ready for a Coach?

If you are ready to look in the mirror and challenge yourself to step into the next phase of your development, you are coachable. Anyone who commits to developing themselves and revealing just how amazing they are – even to themselves – is coachable.

Remember, you aren’t broken so no one needs to fix you. As you engage with a coach, they are the mirror, the champion, and the accountability for the path you take on. Wherever you are today – good, bad, or indifferent – has a future. If you contributed to some of the difficulty you’re facing, you can find a way forward. If you are living the dream and want to dream bigger, it’s out there. Choose a direction, gather your courage for the journey, and engage the coach that is committed to your growth and development.

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