Maybe He Wasn’t Coachable

His eyes lit up when he heard me offhandedly say, “Not everyone is coachable.” He could stop blaming himself for his coachees lack of progress.

He’d been frustrated and discouraged. New techniques might help, but, the truth is, not everyone is coachable.

some people aren't coachable

Evaluate yourself first, when your coachee doesn’t grow. Don’t just write people off.

5 things to do when coachees don’t grow:

  1. Explore connection. Coaches and coachees don’t always click. Maybe they need a different coach.
  2. Watch for inner frustration and anxiety. Frustration suggests you’re trying to control, not coach. Coaching isn’t fixing.
  3. Ask your coachee, “What am I doing that energizes you?” “What am I doing that could be better?” Do you see alignment?
  4. Try new techniques.
  5. Explore new strategies with your coach. Get coaching on how to be a better coach.

Bonus: Remember growth is a process that takes time.

Coaching is a terrific tool to develop people and deliver results. But, not everyone is coachable.

10 ways to spot coachability

Coachable people:

  1. Aspire to learn, grow, and improve. Humility says, “I’m not there yet, but I want to grow.” Self-pity says, “I’m not there yet. Feel sorry for me.”.
  2. Take responsibility for their development. Blamers never grow, until they stop blaming. 
  3. Reflect on their performance.
  4. Speak hard truths about themselves in front of another person.
  5. Seek feedback. Defensiveness blocks development and solidifies the past.
  6. Trust themselves and their coach.
  7. Find ways to imagine themselves doing new things. You must imagine it before you do it.
  8. Adopt a solution-centric, not a problem-centric approach. The uncommitted always have reasons why things won’t work. “Yes, but…,” is a commitment problem.
  9. Embrace a learn-as-you-go approach. Know-it-alls don’t grow and can’t be taught.
  10. Work in a culture that believes coaching is a legitimate management style.

What makes you coachable?

What do you look for in a person who is coachable?

**Tomorrow’s post: “How to help people take responsibility.” Leave your suggestions on Facebook.



Coaching-managers develop talent and achieve results.

I’m delighted to partner with Clarity Development Consulting to offer the proven “Coaching for Engagement” program. Drop me an email if you’d like to explore having Bob Hancox and me come to your organization to begin developing a coaching culture in your organization.