Want to be a top performer?  One way to up your game is to tap into the power of having a coach. Before you say yes/no – a few thingsto consider:

  • What does a coach really do?
  • Are you coachable?
  • Where can you find one?

First, what does a coach really do? Well wikipedia states that “Coaching is a method of directing, instructing and training a person or group of people, with the aim to achieve some goal or develop specific skills. There are many ways to coach, types of coaching and methods to coaching. Sessions are typically one-on-one either in-person or over the telephone.”

Interesting. And I’m so glad to see that they note there are ‘many ways, types ad methods to coaching.’  From my experience a coach is someone who ASSISTS someone else in their development. This can be through asking reflective questions, guiding and mentoring, nudging, providing accountability, challenging – but ALWAYS helping the person commit to action and move forward.   The coach is not the person who gets ‘in the game’ – they help with preparation, cheering them on and debriefing after an event.  coaching

Are you coachable? This might be the most important question of all.  As we help companies hire the best sales professionals and leaders, one of the attributes we assess and interview for is ‘coachability’.  It is a deal-breaker if the candidate is not coachable. Why?  None of us will become the best we can be without opening ourselves up to help and development.

How important is coachability? Well, I’ll share a recent example with a sales leader. He had the skill, knowledge and experience. His coachability was low but the organization still thought he was ‘their guy’ and they hired him. Short story, he lasted 6 months. Why?  He wasn’t open to other ideas, to feedback, etc. He alienated people because it needed to only be ‘his way’. What did that cost the company? At minimum $200k plus a LOT of ill will in the culture.

Where can you find a coach? There are coaches for hire – but you might not need to hire one. How about your manager?  A colleague who is insightful and will give you the ‘truth’.  A friend or spouse or family member? The right person for you might not be in sales – if they are able to help you firm up your goals, offer insight and a ‘nudge’ (or kick in the pants) when needed and who will celebrate with you.

When I facilitate goal setting sessions – in classroom or with individuals – the goal plan includes identifying stakeholders. One of these can be a coach – the person who helps  you stay focused and on track to achieve what YOU want to achieve.

Look at the highest level professionals – from sports to entertainment (even politics) – nearly all of them have a coach, an advisor or someone who guides them through their profession.

Consider the 3 questions listed here…the most important is ‘are you coachable?’  Your coachability matters today – and it very much affects your tomorrow.

P.S. if you would to see the entire goal setting process, click here for the free eBook, Timely Tips to Achieve Your Goals. The eBook is short and provides ‘how’ and a tool to get your goals written.