The Coachability Factor



When fundamental abilities including intelligence, energetic, confident and personally are present, one of the most prominent indicators of success is coachability. When evaluating potential candidates for our executive coaching practice, we consider each of the factors below.

1. Self-Aware

Fundamental to success is knowing who you are (what makes you tick, how your life experiences have shaped you), what you’re good at (habitually leveraging strengths), what you stand for (your values) and where you want to go greatly increase the likelihood that you will get from here to there. It’s also essential to be self-aware enough to objectively evaluate your progress and your strategy.

2. Purposeful

You and you alone should define your purpose at work, and it is your task alone to create purpose in the work you choose. Many times, this gets overlooked, and people find themselves going through the motions without knowing the purpose. It is those who know that this is missing and strive to achieve that purpose who are most receptive to coaching.

3. Passionate

Being passionate about what you do rather than going through the motions makes for a great coaching candidate. Missing the passion and seeking that passion is also an indication of a great coaching candidate.

4. Curious

A curious person is always looking for what’s new, what’s different, how to make himself or those people and things around him better. Complacent people are not generally either curious nor coachable. They are happy with what they have and who they are, so coaching is not right for them (and that’s OK).

5. Emotional Intelligent

Great coaching candidates have the emotional intelligence to be self-aware, curious, purposeful and to seek balance while looking for passion.

6. Socially Aware

It is also important to be socially and politically aware to understand that people dynamics are blocking or facilitating growth and results. Seeing how social factors impact your objectives brings you a long way to managing these social dynamics, and yourself.

7. Other-Centered

The most coachable candidates know themselves and strive for continuous improvement, but are also focused on the growth and well-being of others around them, knowing that the success of others increases the success of all. Some of the most promising candidates are so self-focused that they do not look at the needs and motivations of others. Those who adopt that stance are much less coachable, and many are perplexed about why.

8. Focus on Measurable Results

Coachable clients deliver measurable results, and communicate these results in a way which develops their brand of successful accomplishments. There is no substitute.

9. Resilient

Nobody’s perfect – the most coachable clients have failed forward – learning and growing from the errors of the past. They are resilient enough to pick up the pieces, leverage the learnings, and keep moving forward.

10. Courageous

It takes courage to do any of the above. It takes courage to hear the hard messages, embrace the truth from these messages, which have often come back repeatedly, and to consciously change habits and follow a new course.

If you were to measure yourself on any of the factors above, how do you stand? What other factors do you think are good indicators for coachability? Share your thoughts with us at


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