Given today’s evolving workplace, those who want to improve will have a slight edge. No questions asked. This is not only because they want to get better at their jobs, but also because they care about the impact they can cause. This is why they can be coachable to facilitate their growth, their communication, and their professionalism.
Coaching is great but not everything can be coached. At the end of the day, someone’s personality can’t be changed instantly after a coaching session. However, with consistent coaching, someone can learn to understand and adapt to improve their skills. This happens because the biggest area for coaching is the behavior. This is what people see, hear, and observe.
Coaching is not a magic wand that can immediately transform a person. But coaching can change mindsets, perspectives, and behaviors. It can facilitate the process of growth and change, helping people be better communicators, professionals, and teammates. The question is, who is coachable? With the exception of those who don’t want to do the work or show no signs of improvement or progress, mostly everyone can benefit from coaching. And the next question is, what is coachable? Well, not everything. Some parts of every person are harder to change than others. And as a coach, you need to understand where you can make a difference.
Let’s say you’re someone who values accountability and you work hard to complete projects, and keep promises, and stay on time. But there are others in your workgroup who don’t follow through and this really bugs you. Well, actually, it makes you angry and it takes the fun out of working, and you may feel uncomfortable confronting others. You’d like to do something to change the situation, so you decide to ask for a little coaching. Now, a skillful coach will not try to fix the situation for you, coaching managers know that the best results occur when people discover their own answers and their own solutions. A good coach will not try to change your values either. Values are deep-seated and unlikely to respond to change, even under stress. You can’t be coached out of being an accountable person, but coaching can help you manage your emotions, better understand others, and adopt some new behaviors.
Think of yourself like a bullseye target with the center ring being your DNA, the values that you adopt early in life. And as you go out in the world you discover your style, your personality. We’ll call that the middle ring of the bullseye. Your personality won’t change that much, but it can be modified, and adapted, and understood in ways that allow you to better interact and work with others.
Coaching can help increase the awareness of who you are and what works for you. And the biggest arena for coaching is your behavior. That’s that outer ring. This is what people see, what people hear, what they observe. The interaction between the middle ring and the outer ring is often the key coaching opportunity.