coachingIf all it takes is a good coach, then why isn’t every football team the champion, every executive a world-class leader, or every small business skyrocketing to success? The answer is no matter how experienced or capable the coach, a high percentage of success depends on the coached.

The team, the executive, or the business owner may have outstanding talent or skill. Their goals may be clear and they may have every intention to succeed. Yet, in the end, they fail to get what they want. Why? The outcome of every coaching relationship depends largely on whether or not the coached are coachable.

Here are five ways to tell if you coachable:

1.You are willing to change. Change is not easy. Human beings have a natural tendency to resist change. If you are not willing to push past old habits and develop new patterns it is unlikely you will make the progress you want. The best indication is to think about the last time you made a change. What did it take? How did it work out?

2. You are committed to your part of the relationship. There is no magic wand in a coaching relationship. It is hard work. You must be willing to accept responsibility for your part. That usually involves “homework” and practice in between meetings. Just showing up to your appointment is not enough.

3. You are willing to expose and accept weaknesses. Many people, and particularly leaders, are very protective of their weaknesses. We all have them and to make progress in a coaching relationship you must be willing to see them, share them, and accept them. In coaching we focus on strengths but we also do our best to eliminate weaknesses or find ways to compensate for them.

4. You are open to new ideas and feedback. It is common for someone who is not coachable to argue their point and be unwilling to accept the opinions and feedback of others. They may pretend to be open in this area but continue the behavior that is standing in the way of their progress. They are usually unwilling to try something new or different. A person who is not open to feedback will most likely not make the changes needed to get what they want.

5. You are willing to commit the time to develop and practice. Change takes time. If you do not have the time to commit to coaching sessions and the work in between it may not be a good fit for you. Examine your schedule. How much time can you commit? Are you willing to prioritize your appointments, be on time, and be prepared? The best candidates for coaching can answer “yes” to all three.

Coaching can be a valuable factor in the success equation. Consider all of the above and when you are ready, call your coach!