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Coachable? What is it, and are YOU Coachable?

February 12, 20245 min read


One of the questions that swirls with regularity around the minds of my prospects- and even those in business with whom I network is: Does Coaching Work?  

Which is really just code for, "will coaching actually WORK FOR ME?"  

Why do I know this to be true?  Two reasons- 1) People actually do ask me the question; but 2) (and possibly more importantly), I asked this very question myself when I first entered into a coaching relationship where I was the coachee.  We often hear the term Coachable or Coachability in reference to various athletes or in conversations around personal development and career advancement. It's definitely a topic of discussion when taking on an executive coaching client when we engage in an initial discovery call.  But what does it mean to be coachable, and how do you know if you are actually coachable or not.  Let's dig in and explore the whole topic in a bit more detail.

How to be Coachable

So firstly, let's look at some Signs that you might be Coachable:

Open to Feedback

  1. Feedback is Welcomed: Do you have a good, open attitude toward feedback. If so, you might be coachable. Are you open to receiving constructive criticism and input from others? If you actively seek out feedback and view it as an opportunity for growth rather than a personal attack, you're likely on the right path.

  2. Change Doesn't Bother You: We talk about adaptability frequently. How rigid are you in your thinking? If you're open to trying new approaches and are willing to adjust your strategies based on new information or feedback, that's amore! And also, coachability.

  3. You are a Goal Setter: ....Like for real. You actually have them. Written down in a clear and concise way. Having written SMART goals is a sign of coachability. Coachable individuals are driven by a desire for self-improvement and set goals to help them get there. They see feedback and guidance as tools to help them achieve these objectives.

  4. You Don't Just Know What Active Listening Means, You Live it: Do you actively listen, ask questions, and seek to understand the perspective of others- when in regular conversation and when being offered feedback? Coachable people practice active listening, showing respect for the insights and experiences of others.

  5. No One's Perfect- and You Make (and Acknowledge) Mistakes Too: Coachability is closely tied to humility. If you can admit when you've made a mistake and learn from it, you're exhibiting a key aspect of coachability. Rather than deflecting blame, you take responsibility and use setbacks as opportunities for growth.

  6. Mentors : Coachable individuals recognize the value of mentors and seek out opportunities to learn from those with more experience. If you actively seek guidance, it's a positive sign that you may, in fact, be coachable.

Some possible Signs you might not be Coachable (which might include wincing at the idea of reading the next bullet points)


  1. Defensiveness (think crossed arms here): Is your body language quickly closed off?  Do you run from the idea of feedback. Do you dismiss or otherwise push back against constructive criticism? Instead of being receptive to input, you may dismiss it or push back, hindering your growth.

  2. Closed-Mindedness (think rolling eyes here): A closed mindset is the opposite of coachability. If you believe that your way is the only right way and resist alternative perspectives or ideas, you may be less coachable. Here's a hint- if you think you are always the smartest person in the room, you might not be all that coachable.

  3. Resistance to Change (think sabotage here): How set in your ways are you? Does change scare you or do you struggle to adapt?

  4. Lack of Goal-Setting: Can't measure anything without a measuring stick. Can't figure out if we are hitting our goals if we haven't set any as well. If you lack direction and purpose in your pursuits, your coachability may be limited.

  5. Ignoring Feedback: When feedback is consistently ignored or dismissed without consideration, it suggests a lack of coachability. Feedback is a valuable tool for growth, and disregarding it can hinder your development.

But Wait- You want to be more Coachable...

If you've recognized that you might not be as coachable as you'd like to be, don't despair. Coachability is a trait that can be developed and nurtured:

  1. Practice Humility: Acknowledge that you don't have all the answers. Embrace humility as a source of strength and growth. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and humble is an amazing place to start.

  2. Work on Active Listening: Improve your active listening skills by paying close attention to what others are saying, asking clarifying questions, and showing appreciation for their insights. Engage those conversations more fully- whether they are feedback related or not.

  3. Set Clear Goals: Define your objectives and create a roadmap for achieving them. Goals provide direction and motivation for your personal and professional development. And guess what, a coach will help you set SMART goals!

  4. Seek Guidance: Actively seek out coaches who can provide guidance and support on your journey. I know where you can find one to help you and your business journey!

  5. Embrace Change: Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and be open to trying new approaches. As a business owner, it's imperative that you are adaptable. The business and economic landscape offers nothing but constant change.  Roll with it and find more joy in the game.

Your degree of coachability can, and likely will, determine whether you stagnate or reach your full potential. Assess your own coachability by considering the signs mentioned above and work on cultivating this essential trait to unlock new opportunities and achieve your goals. Remember, becoming more coachable is a continuous journey that can lead to a more fulfilling and successful life. Now that you know what it takes to be coachable, let's have that first chat over a coffee.  It's on me!

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Jeff Walters

Jeff Walters is an accomplished and award business owner. He is the CEO and Founder of Infinite Business Solutions.

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Cheryl North Johnson

Jeff has been an excellent mentor and business coach for me. He has provided me with valuable guidance and support as I navigate the challenges of being a business owner. With his help I was able to develop a business plan. Jeff holds me accountable for my progress. Having someone who can provide me with objective feedback and encouragement can be very helpful, especially during challenging times. It's also important to have someone who you can vent to and who can help you process your emotions as you face various obstacles. Overall, Jeff has been an asset to my business and personal growth.

Nick Malcolm

Jeff has been instrumental in the growth of my business. As a young entrepreneur with no funds to speak of, Jeff was able to work with me and truly help me get my business off the ground. I’m happily self employed full time and living my dreams. It wouldn’t have been possible without my meetings with Jeff, thank you so much my friend!

Brenda Osbaldeston, E.D. MOMS Canada

I contacted Infinite Business Solutions to help our board move forward for the coming year. From our immediate contact, Jeff Walters was amazing. He listened to my concerns about our organization and asked questions, enabling me to realize where our struggles are. He was accommodating as to the timing for the workshop. The day of the presentation he arrived early, had a very warm and gentle way about himself. Jeff explained the purpose of our workshop and the importance of honest discussion to help us figure how to move forward. Jeff made sure each member was part of the discussion and allowed for each member to be themselves. The whole workshop was relaxed and very productive. I appreciate Jeff's professionalism and his respectful approach. This workshop allowed for our board to come up with a true focus, a direction for the next 12 months and the solutions as to how we get there. I highly recommend Infinite Business Solutions for any business or organization that needs a clear view on looking at their struggles and finding a focused direction of the solutions.

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