Over the last four years, I have had the opportunity to engage in coaching conversations with some committed and gifted people. Walking alongside such person as they explore new directions for their lives and ministries is very rewarding. They are very “coachable.”
But is everyone “coachable”? The question has been asked in different forms, but the core intent of the inquiry is, “When is a person coachable or ready to be coached?” In truth, some people are not ready to be coached; that is, they are not ready to commit to a coaching conversation for their own personal or professional growth.
Perhaps the person is dealing with baggage from the past or a poor self-image. Maybe they have not taken the time to reflect on the idea that they have the ability to do more with their lives. It may be that the “coachable moment” has not come in their lives.
How can you tell if a person is ready to be coached? Look for these things.
First, the person will tend to have an optimistic mindset about himself or herself. This is apparent in the way that the person responds to challenges or environmental changes. He or she will face and not ignore those challenges.
Second, the person will have a natural curiosity. There is an inherent desire to know and understand both the self and the context.
Third, the person “leans forward,” showing an anticipation to discover what is just down the road or around the corner.
Fourth, the person will have shown a willingness to experiment with both new ideas and new behaviors. He or she is willing to risk failure in order to find a better way.
Fifth, the person is willing to commit and accept the discipline necessary for change in one’s life. Change is hard work and the person being coached must recognize this up front.
Coaching provides a person the opportunity discover and grow into new dimensions of personal and professional development, but the decision about being coached is ultimately up to the individual.