You’re awesome at what you do and you know it. You’ve spent a significant amount of your time and resources to develop your professional skills, and you’ve achieved a lot of success already. You’re the king or queen of your game, and this especially comes through in meetings with clients, colleagues, and bosses. However, the professional world requires us to continually grow to keep up with its constant change. We can’t always guide ourselves to the next level of development, so your ability to improve often hinges on this one question: Are you coachable? This is the eighth in a 10-part series about things you can do to help your career in business meetings.
What does it mean to be “coachable”?
Being coachable means accepting that no matter how good you are, you can always improve. It also means that you can always develop a valuable skill if you make the commitment to do so regardless of your natural abilities. For instance, anyone can become proficient at public speaking even though its commonly regarded as one of the scariest skills to acquire.
The term “coachable” seems like it would only apply to athletes. However, everyone in the professional world has things that they can improve upon regardless of their status or position. For example, areas for improvement during business meetings could include presentation skills, active listening skills, persuasion, and many others.
Coaches help you step outside of your comfort zone without taking unnecessary or dangerous risks. They also help you grow by giving you constructive feedback based on a genuine interest to help you succeed. But this only works if you’re willing to listen to their advice and apply it in the future.
You can’t benefit from coaching if you aren’t coachable. This means not accepting feedback and especially negative feedback. It also means being stubborn or otherwise unwilling to see your work product as anything but perfect.
Sometimes it’s difficult to accept coaching because it can be uncomfortable when someone critiques your performance. However, being coachable means that you resist the urge to take criticism personally and that you see it as an opportunity to become even better.
How to get great coaching
One of the major roadblocks to benefiting from coaching is finding a good coach in the first place. Everyone has an opinion, and many people won’t hesitate to share theirs whether they know what they’re talking about or not. That doesn’t mean that they have your best interests at heart or that listening to them will help you improve.
That’s why it’s so important to find a great coach whose opinion you respect and whom you trust to give you honest and productive feedback. This can be a professional business coach, and you can also ask for informal coaching from colleagues, mentors, managers, and others whom you engage with professionally in a different capacity. It just depends on your comfort level and the opportunities for coaching available to you.
Growing as a person and as a professional is crucial to your ability to succeed in business, especially during meetings. By being coachable and committing to constant improvement, you can achieve things with the help of a coach that you might not be able to do on your own.