Our new cohort of Executive MBAs at Smith Maryland are about to start the Executive Coaching part of our program and I am sending them this recent article* from Harvard Business Review to help them make sure they are in the right frame of mind to start the process.
But, all of us need to be open to “coaching” whether we have a formal executive coach or not. Our bosses, our colleagues, and people who report to us can all provide us with invaluable coaching if we are open to it.
Here are some important takeaways on how to be more coachable from the article:
1. Tolerance for Discomfort. Eventually we will receive coaching that will require us to try on some new behaviors that do not feel comfortable. That’s called growth! Embrace it.
2. Openness to Experiment. As you try on these new behaviors you may need to experiment with different ways of actually doing the behavior. Give yourself permission and try different ways. Enroll your team in giving you feedback on how it goes.
3. Willingness to Take Responsibility. You have the power to change! Each of us need to take responsibility for continued professional development and not blame circumstances that we think may get in our way.
4. Self-Discipline. Once we receive the feedback and decide to move forward with some behavior changes, we need to be focused and disciplined in actually doing it.
5. Ability to Ask for Support. Reach out to people you work with and tell them what you are working on. Ask for their support and continued feedback.
When a person shares feedback with us intended for our improvement, it is a real gift. Applying these tips can help each of us be more coachable and this can accelerate our professional development.
*Ideas for this blog taken from: Steinberg, B. “Are You Ready to Be Coached,” Harvard Business Review online, October 30, 2020.