“My best skill was that I was coachable. I was a sponge and aggressive to learn.” – Michael Jordan

Meet Ben. This picture is the two of us at our tennis banquet in October. We were both very thankful to have a tennis season, and to gather that evening to celebrate it. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to coach Ben for two seasons. Ben was MVP his junior year and won our annual leadership award this past season. Why? There are a lot of reasons, but the main one is because Ben is coachable. 

He showed up every day, played hard, asked questions, and tried to get better every day. What more can a coach ask for? 

The Learner’s definition of COACHABLE is: capable of being easily taught and trained to do something better. 

It was about four years ago now, listening to former college and professional football standout Desmond Howard speak, when I started becoming more focused and passionate about what coachable means and how it can impact our lives when we embrace it. These were my key takeaways from Howard’s talk:

*Humble yourself and want to learn

*Be open-minded

*Always ask – “What can I do better?”

*Put your emotions to the side

*How to get your mind right is by having the right mental approach

*Be aware of self-defeating behavior

My friend Stuart told me a great story recently about his son asking his boss at Dairy Queen the “What can I do better” question and how the boss was shocked about him asking. Why? Because none of the other employees are asking this question! 

We most often associate this word with sports, but I believe it has the same or even greater application in the arts, education and the one I get most excited about – in the business world. I believe everyone is coachable, just a matter of how much. Instead of asking, “Are you coachable?,” I prefer to ask, “How coachable are you?” I’ve discovered it helps people believe they can be coached, and creates awareness about what coaching may bring about in their life if they are open to giving it a try. 

It will come as no surprise that I have chosen COACHABLE to be my One Word for 2021. If I don’t humble myself, become more open-minded and ask, “What can I do better,” how can I expect the people I’m trying to lead to do the same? I can’t give away what I don’t have myself. 

What does being coachable look like for you? How can you become more coachable today? I’d love to hear your feedback, your thoughts and to continue the conversation. 

Live Proactively!