Are you coachable? Are you coachable with the most important people in your life?
I prefer picking up the phone when I am in my best energy zone. I want to give the people in my life the best I can offer. Last week I called Edan, our son, as I walked into the house from six hours on the road. I was tired and not at my top game. When he picked up the phone I heard myself say: “Did I wake you up?” As the words came out, I knew it was a stupid question to ask your 21 year old son at 5:30 p.m. EST (when it’s 2:30 p.m. for him in Seattle).
He was busy and said he would call back in 10 minutes. When he called back the conversation went like this:
Edan: You taught me that the people closest to you can be the biggest stoppers of your growth and development if in their minds they are holding a picture of you from the past and are not ready to update their view of you.
Me: That is correct.
Edan: Well, so what kind of way is it to start a conversation with me by saying: “did I wake you up?” Do you expect that I would be sleeping at 2:30pm? It is Saturday, and it is true that a few years ago I used to sleep in on Saturday; but I have been up this morning working away on my projects. If you do not update your view of me – if you hold in your mind how I was four years ago, you are constricting my growth and development opportunity today.
This is the coachable moment, in the choice I make in the response.
Me: You are absolutely right. Point taken. How would you want me to address you when we begin a call?
Edan: You can start by asking: “How are you changing the world today?”
“How are you changing the world” is how we begin our calls ever since.
What’s the point? Tiredness, hours on the road and many other things can be good excuses to be at less than your best. But something great happens when we let go of excuses and step into the moment. Being coachable -being openly engaged with the people in your life-is a gift. They help you become the greater person they know you can be. The feedback I got snapped me back to attention. Truth is a great coach. Getting the truth back from someone close to you is a coaching moment. Acknowledging truth is the first step of being coachable. Making a full response. Walking through the door that was opened is how you turn the coaching invitation into a transformational moment.
I choose to be coachable. It makes for a thrilling life. What about you, are you coachable?
© Aviv Shahar