Having a coach helps you reach your goal or outcome faster – with a qualifier. Not everyone is coachable or is ready to work with a coach. The timing may not right or you may be someone who is not coachable.
There is a reason experienced coaches gage your readiness to work with them. Coaches are not miracle workers, nor advice givers. They are present on your journey in life and help you to focus on what is blocking your progress against your goals. Your goals may be career or personal. Great coaches want to maximize your return on investment.
So you may wonder – how do you know you are ready? Here are the general areas a coach with explore with you to find out if you are coachable:
- You are responsible with the time you and your coach set up to work together. You are committed to keeping your appointments or rescheduling with advance notice. If you find yourself rescheduling a lot, ask yourself how important is coaching to you?
- You know it is the right time to work with a coach. You are ready to move forward in your life. The focus may be on your career, family, or personal development.
- You know what your role is in coaching and what the coach’s role is. Your role is to do the work; your coach’s role is to coach during your session.
- You can keep your word without putting up a fight or succumbing to self-sabotage. Your progress is about making steps forward – no matter how small.
- You are open to trying new things – that maybe new approaches or ways of thinking that your coach suggests. When you open up possibilities to new thinking or feeling, you may find a solution you never imagined.
- You have trust in your coach to tell the truth without fear of being judged. Truth in a coaching relationship deepens the level of conversations you can have together.
- You have the moxie or confidence to share with your coach what your needs are – and that includes when you are not getting what you want. Your relationship is a partnership and the way to improve it is with open communication.
- You are willing to stop or change your engagement in self-defeating behaviors. Your progress is at a standstill until that happens.
- You are financially able to pay for coaching and will not have regrets or suffer from your personal investment.
- You see coaching as an investment that will be worthwhile.
- You can share the credit for your successes with your coach. Sharing the wins together celebrates the coaching partnership.
You may see coaching readiness assessments (I use one in my practice) where you gage your responses to these statements and tally up the score. At the end of the assessment you can decide if:
- You are not coachable now
- You are coachable with some ground rules that you will live up to
- You are coachable
- You are very coachable and ask your coach to demand a lot from you because you are ready to stretch
It is important to be honest when you take the coaching readiness assessment because it reflects your willingness to trust in your coach (see #6).
There have been times when I have told potential clients that they are not ready to work with me (as a coach). I remember clearly one man who was taken aback by my response. I think I bruised his ego because he probably has not had too many people tell him “no”, but really I said he was “not ready then”.
Your coach should not accept you to take your money; they accept you because they know you can make some progress together. Sure, you may hit a few bumps in the road and hopefully you can work through them and continue moving forward. If not, you are working with the wrong coach.