Narrator [00:00:03] Welcome to ideamix performance and Wellness, where world-leading coaches and scientists explain how their research can help you achieve your personal and professional goals faster.
Sam [00:00:15] Hi, it’s Sam Jayanti, co-founder and CEO of ideamix coaching. Coaching has played an important role in my life. It’s helped me through my journey to become a powerful leader, mother, and wife. ideamix coaches help you increase your self-awareness, improve your problem solving skills, and evolve your habits to achieve your goals. All things I’m grateful to have learned and done through my own coaching journey. Our easy one minute assessment matches you with an ideamix coach that best fits your needs and values. Each ideamix coach is vetted and experienced and helps clients map and achieve their wellness, professional, and business goals. If you or someone you know could benefit from coaching, visit our website at www.theideamix.com. We also know that not everyone can invest in coaching right now and that’s why we provide free coaching and our coach shorts episodes. If you think someone you know would benefit from it, please share our podcast with them. Thanks for listening and see you next time.
Jamie [00:01:12] Hello and welcome to Coaches to Know, the bite sized podcast where we discuss one topic around coaching. I’m your host Jamie, and today I am joined by coach Elizabeth. And our topic today is coachability. Coach Elizabeth has spent over two decades “coaching” training developing leaders at well-known brands such as Nike, Anthropologie, and others before becoming a full time executive wellness coach. Her corporate career has given her firsthand experience as to what it is like to actually be a coachee and be on the other side of an engagement. And like many of her clients, she wears many hats, including wife, stepmom, endurance athlete, yogi meditation teacher, and world traveler. Her clients are those seeking to align their lifestyle and professional goals with their values, and she helps both individuals and teams identify what those values are, put them into action, in order to achieve cohesion, collaboration, and inclusivity. She also specializes in organizational change, purpose, communication, presentation, and executive presence. So thank you, Coach Elizabeth, for joining me here today. And we’re going to start off with our fundamental premise that I have often believed, which is that everyone is coachable. But the question really is, is that true? Are they? And part of this question came out of this conversation I had with another coach who told me that less than 10% of people are actually coachable. So I’m excited for today’s discussion. I’m just excited for your insight around this topic. But why don’t we start by defining what we mean by coachability–what it is, and what it isn’t?
Coach Elizabeth [00:03:09] Okay, Wonderful. Thank you, Jamie. I’m so thrilled to be here. Thank you for having me. And what an important topic. The basis of being a coach is, is working with people who are, in fact, coachable. You know, I tell you that the answer probably is subjective. You know, it’s an opinion whether or not somebody is coachable or not. My belief and my premise, however, is that a few things need to be aligned to determine if someone is coachable. Everybody has the ability to be coached, but I believe that people, places, and things need to be aligned at the right time for it to really be a stellar fit. So people: the person, the coachee, the client needs to show up, ready to invest in the process, but compatibility needs to be there with their coach. So the people factor, the people relationship is very in a–it’s a partnership, it’s a one on one partnership between coachee and coach. And so compatibility, the ability for the coach to be a trusted guide and a partner for that coachee is of paramount importance. Places. Place, Does the coachee have the right place in their life? Are they ready and equipped to dive in to certain focuses? Are they in a life place to make the effort to do the progress and to do some self-discovery about themselves? And then things–people, places and things–are the focuses, the objectives, the intentions and the goals that they have aligned with where they are in their place in life, professionally or personally, and with that coach that they’re working with. So people, places and things are really important, and willingness is a key factor as well.
Jamie [00:05:07] Great. Thank you so much for that. I like this idea that there’s three factors that contribute to whether somebody is coachable or not coachable. What do you find is the biggest challenge to somebody’s coachability? Is it the people, is it the place, or is it the things?
Coach Elizabeth [00:05:31] Yeah, And I, you know, I go from people, places, and things and I break it down to an acronym that I really like to use. And I think this will answer your question. And if we take the word coachability and I look at the word coach c-o-a-c-h. Let’s talk through those letters because I think this will really provide insight for anybody thinking about exploring being coached–especially if they’re a first time coachee. And I’ll pause by saying coaching covers a great gamut of different types of coaching, like base coaching, leadership and business coaching–that’s executive coaching–that’s what I specialize in relationship coaching, communication coaching, wellness, health, nutrition, coaching, etc. But regardless of the focus of the type of coaching somebody is engaging in, they need to be curious. So the “C” from coach is curiosity. Is that person willing to have a beginner’s mind? [00:06:38]Are they ready to be open and to learn new things? Not specifically learning from the coach, but learning about themselves. So that curiosity factor is really key in my experience with coachees. They need to be open. [16.4s] Are they open minded? Are they open to outcomes that will come about during the process rather than being very attached to outcomes? Sometimes I work with a coachee who says, Hey, Elizabeth, I want to dive into this one specific focus and I want you to help me get from point A to point B, and I want to tell you how I want to get there, and the openness to allowing the path to unfold naturally is really important, that organic process. So openness is key. The coaching needs to be available and accountable both. So that’s my “A” in the acronym coach. They need to be accountable to the process and really doing some, you know, potentially after work following a session which allows them to do some reflection. Sometimes there are some light exercises that may be talked about, but really being accountable to moving the ball along during the process and making time for it. Typically, coaching sessions have some kind of cadence, a predetermined cadence. And so being available at that set time to work with your coach is key. Commitment, of course, is important as well. I talked about compatibility between the two people, but commitment to the overall journey is key. And then honesty. Are you honestly ready and willing to make this a part of your personal journey, be it for professional growth or personal growth? So to answer your question, what is the most challenging, you know, what sometimes is the hurdle or the roadblock that I find typically is the willingness and accountability to committing to the process. I believe that coachees come to a coach because they have some interest. There’s something that has sparked a desire to grow, to transform, to evolve in their personal or professional life. And so that seed of inquiry is there in the coachee. Hence they seek out a coach. But once they start to open up and do the work and perhaps discover some things about themself, they establish their own roadblock and halt and say, Hey, maybe I’m not ready for this journey. So that is, you know, sort of that accountability and the timing and being available in that place.
Jamie [00:09:27] Thank you for that explanation. I always love an acronym for describing, you know, different concept, different ideas, which makes them much more memorable. In terms of thinking about willingness and accountability, have you ever been engaged with a client where you felt like that was their roadblock, but then they were actually able to get through it? Because, you know, we all know you meet a coach, you have a discovery session, an introductory session, which doesn’t cost you anything more than your time. And it’s a getting to know you period. And then the first couple sessions are really critical. Is it within those first 2 to 3 sessions that you can–that it’s possible to turn around and become–basically overcome an unwillingness or overcome accountability. There is. Absolutely. And I believe that the spark, that sort of aha moment that a coach or a client have comes from certainly the dynamic between the coachees and their coach because, again, this is a very intimate partnership. You know, we work one on one with one another. There is a lot of vulnerability. There is openness to the past, talking about things that have been experiences or, you know, other paths that they’ve gone down and then where they want to go in the future. And being really honest and willing to explore that with a coach requires vulnerability. So I find that in that sort of fit test, that meet and greet that happens in the beginning or in the first couple of sessions as you mentioned, sparks can happen organically where a coach says, Oh my goodness, you just ask me a question or we started to discuss a topic that I wasn’t even planning on, you know, journeying with you, but it gives me great pause to explore that. And so the organic nature of how a coaching engagement can start is typically what shifts in a person that makes them more accountable and more willing and more interested. So that goes back to that first “C” in the coaching acronym, which is curiosity really being open and curious to do the self-discovery. So it sounds like, you know, even if somebody is interested, but maybe not sure the timing is right, you know, it’s always worth at least 2 to 3 sessions to draw, to give yourself the opportunity to be drawn in. And if the time is not right, then it’s not right. Then you can pull the plug or say, you know, I need to put pause or whatever. But ultimately, you know, it’s not going to be always instantaneous. So sometimes you have to get yourself time as a coach to get into the process.
Coach Elizabeth [00:12:24] That’s right. That’s right. I think for the process to be effective and to really bring value to the coachee, because that’s what we do as coaches. We are service providers, we are servant leaders really intending to bring great value to the client, to the coachee of their time, of their, of their money, of their investment. So in order to do that coming in to the process, you know, I would recommend to any coachee who’s considering hiring a coach, what is the purpose and what is the passion that you have? It’s that simple. Is there a clarity of purpose? Is there a definition or a refinement of purpose that you’re looking for? And do you have passion around that? Is your head open? Is your heart open? Are you willing to take that journey? So I say, you know, are you coming in to design or refine something about your life, define or refine a purpose that you may have–a clarity that you’re looking for? Are you looking to inform or transform something in your life or some part of your journey, again, personally or professionally?
Jamie [00:13:42] Thank you for that explanation. We have time for one more question. And I just want to know, have you ever been engaged with a client that wasn’t ready? And how did you, as the coach, know and did the coachee know?
Coach Elizabeth [00:14:02] Yeah, that’s a great question. The answer is yes. I will also say that I have been a coach who was not ready for the process. And personally, it was the very first executive coach that was offered to me. And at the time I felt like they were assigned to me and I felt like it was, you know, punitive rather than additive in my senior role in my career. And because I didn’t really take the time to understand what an investment was being made, that the investment that was being made in me to grow my scope of responsibility and my scope of learning about myself as a leader to transform me. And it was an amazing gift. But in the beginning I wasn’t ready because I just didn’t understand the opportunity and the gift that having a coach would give to me for myself. I have had a few coachees come to me interested in growing–interested in learning a little bit more about a process of working with a coach versus a therapist or a counselor or other related service providers. And the issue really became a lack of clarity around where they wanted to go with the process, and they wanted to be led and told and almost advised to more than being invested themselves to do the work and do the reflection and to really show up to sessions and show up to engagements with their own investment in topic and content and setting goals and intentions for themselves. So I think if you can align with the coachee, what their purpose is, and their passion to the process, it really helps inform them that, Oh, I have an accountability to this and I want to do this. And so the desire needs to be there again. Going back to willingness, I think the person being really willing to show up in a one on one partnership and not just be led and actually lead itself through the journey is important.
Jamie [00:16:18] Yeah. It sounds like sort of that willingness piece is really about an emotional investment into your own success.
Coach Elizabeth [00:16:25] It is. It is. It’s saying, you know, I have a coach that I have a compatibility with. So we’ve done the fit tests, we’ve done the meet and greet, and we have a compatibility as people. But then the place that I am in my life, am I willing to invest my time and my thought and my heart and my head into this–being open to outcomes, not attached to a specific end result, as I said, and then really using the coach as a thought partner and a trusted guide, but confident, you know, the confidant that they may not have elsewhere in their life personally or professionally to grow and to pivot and to transform.
Jamie [00:17:04] Thank you. That’s a wonderful now to end on. I’ve greatly enjoyed our conversation today, Coach Elizabeth. And it’s hard to imagine you not being compatible with every coachee that you’ve come across. To our audience, if you’re interested in learning more about Coach Elizabeth, who would like to work with Coach Elizabeth, please check out her profile on theideamix.com. And thank you so much for joining us today.
Coach Elizabeth [00:17:38] Thank you.
Narrator [00:17:41] Thanks for listening. Please subscribe wherever you listen and leave us a review. Find your ideal coach at www.theideamix.com. Special thanks to our producer Martin Milewski and singer-songwriter Doug Allen.
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