There’s a reason all athletes and executives have coaches. Even when they are nearing the pinnacle of their ability, they still need that fine tuning to continue to be effective each and every time they show up for the game or the board meeting.

Some clients want to optimize their performance, make a significant transformation or simply explore how to remove the blocks and barriers they’ve been experiencing on their journey. Sometimes the client isn’t ready. They aren’t ready to change and not ready to do the work.

I’ve been thinking lately about what it takes to be “coachable”? The realist in me knows that you can’t force someone to accept the coaching you are providing, but the optimist in me believes that everyone has that break through moment. That moment where they realize that in order to move past a situation where they are stuck, it will take some really real self-awareness and some very specific actions.

Coaching can really come from anyone, at any time. Managers, professional coaches, friends, colleagues, spouses, your children (don’t you love it when your kid identifies your area of improvement – that can be powerful, punch you in the gut type of coaching), or any well-meaning person you encounter can offer you a coaching moment.

But are you ready to receive it?

Here are 5 characteristics necessary to receive the benefit of coaching:

  1. One of the first characteristics of being able to accept coaching is humility. Ahhh humility, the ability to release any arrogance you may have. In order to be coached, you cannot have such arrogance that you think that there is no room for improvement. If you think your way is always the right way and nobody does it better or could ever do it any better than you, you may not be ready for coaching. You have to be open to learning new things and developing a deeper sense of self-awareness.
  2. For any coaching process to work, the receiver of the information needs to understand their motivation to change. The super-motivator, Tony Robbins, says people are motivated by the avoidance of pain or by seeking pleasure. There is usually some sort payoff by remaining stuck in your rut. Is a bad habit causing you pleasure or satisfaction? Or is making a change going to cause pain? Will that change make the people in your life around you unhappy (or at least in your perception)? Will it cause you to have to put yourself out there and risk being vulnerable? Vulnerability can feel really scary but as Brene Brown says “vulnerability is not about fear and grief and disappointment, it is the birthplace of everything we’re hungry for”. To get what you want, you have to be vulnerable. And it may not feel all warm and fuzzy at first, but it truly is the most freeing and empowering thing you can ever do.
  3. In order to be a good coaching recipient you have to want to take action. No one is going to do this life for you. You have to hear what you need to hear, learn what you need to learn, then you need to get up. Stand up on your own two feet and take action. In this lifetime, there is no magic pill or fairy godmother. You have to do the work. Let me say that again. YOU have to do the work.
  4. Control freaks need not apply for coaching. Results happen when you loosen the reins of control. Here’s what happens when you try to control every situation and every outcome: you get ulcers and migraines and the stuff that you didn’t want to happen – happens. You have to take the afore mentioned action, do the best damn job you can, put forth 100% effort. Then let go. You can’t control others, you can’t control the uncontrollable. If this is your M.O., coaching may not be for you.
  5. You need to have faith and believe. Believe that you are capable. Have faith in yourself, your abilities and the good intentions of your coach. Believe that you were meant for more in this life than sitting on the sidelines watching everyone else live the fulfilled and happy life you long for. Believe that you are worthy and have faith that you were put on this earth for greater things.

Coaching is a discovery. A discovery of your deepest self, your desires, your motivations, your
fears. If you have the desire, the motivation and the openness, a good qualified coach is out
there ready to help you achieve your goals.