April 10, 2017
What Makes a Leader Coachable? Six Rules to Consider

In the past, I have been asked to coach some leaders who were positively uncoachable. I strive to figure this out fast so I can tell the client that they are wasting their time and money, but sometimes it takes time to determine what's wrong.
I coached one CEO, for example, who was a classic definition of the pop psychology term passive aggressive. He would nod and agree with every piece of feedback his staff and I gave him and then proceed to change nothing. Unfortunately, it took me months to understand what his personality was like and to let the client know that the project was doomed. 

"We coach people every day who go on 
to be even more effective leaders, 
yet some people simply are not open to feedback."

Another client was so overwhelmed by the idea that her organization thought she needed a coach that she spent all of her time with me complaining about the assignment. I couldn't turn her attention back to herself and what she could change, and the project ultimately failed.
Luckily, these two were exceptions and I've coached many successful executives who went on to be even more successful with coaching. Here's what they had in common:
1.     Curiosity.  They listened and asked questions about how they could improve and how they were perceived by others. They welcomed feedback with curious questions, not defensiveness.
2.     Open to change. They didn't assume that who they were was a fixed state. They welcomed change based on coaching as opposed to assuming that they couldn't change.
3.     Vision.  They had a vision for coaching and for what they wanted to achieve - even if the assignment was initially foisted upon them by someone else. They welcomed our help in achieving that vision.
4.     Honesty.  They were willing to admit mistakes and tell the truth fast. They owned their part of any mishap, apologized and moved on.
5.     Proactive.  They called us when they needed advice, as opposed to waiting for our scheduled appointments. They anticipated problems.
6.     Brave.  They understood that they might be uncomfortable with feedback and honesty but they were willing to walk though the discomfort in order to make positive changes.
What Should You Do?   

Live is tough; work is even tougher. I firmly believe that everyone can benefit from having a coach. I've had several who've helped me enormously. We coach people every day who go on to be even more effective leaders, yet some people simply are not open to feedback. If you're considering hiring a coach or trying to coach those you lead, consider these six questions above before you invest time and money in the process. 

Did You Know?

When we conduct coaching, we usually include an emotional intelligence assessment as a part of the package.

For more information, call or write us at: 303-216-1020 or [email protected]

Read Lynne's book "The Power of a Good Fight" and learn how to create strong teams and leaders who use confrontation in a positive way to foster strength, creativity, and productivity. 


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