King David prayed, "Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it." (Psalm 141:5) As we continue our series on being a coachable leader David's prayer really gets to the heart of the matter. Coachable people seek out those who speak truth to them, even if it is a painful truth, because it protects them and it makes them a better person and leader.
5. Coachable people take initiative with the coach, instead of the coach pushing or motivating them.
It is sometimes perplexing to me how many self-starters I have coached that lack initiative in the coaching relationship. Why is this? Here are a few reasons:
1) Pride - "I can do it on my own." Self-reliance is an America virtue but not a biblical value. Solomon wrote, "The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice." (Proverbs 12:15) The word 'listen' carries with it the meaning of seeking out as well as receiving advice. A lot of pain can be prevented if leaders would just check in with their coach before a making a big decision.
2) Fear - "I don't want to look stupid." One of my mantras is, "The only stupid question is the question not asked!" Actually, fear is another symptom of pride. Solomon wrote, "Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice." (Proverbs 13:10) There should be a level of connection in your coaching relationship where there is no fear but only only freedom to question and explore leadership thoughts and ideas.
3) Fatigue - "I'm emotional exhausted and lack energy for the coaching process." This one reason is true more often than you can imagine. The energy needed for the coaching process can be overwhelming and sometimes people can hit their limit. It is at this time the coach needs to bring soothing encouragement. Solomon wrote, "Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice." (Proverbs 27:9)
4) Indifference - "I don't want to deal with the issue at this time." It is in times like these that we need to see indifference as a warning light; warning us of the sin and ramifications of idleness. Solomon wrote, "If a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks." (Ecclesiastes 10:18) No leader wants their ministry to suffer ... but idleness and indifference can bring a ministry down very quickly. So let your indifference warn you as a loud siren sounding off to push you toward your coach.
5) Imposing - "I don't want to be a bother to my coach." I find with good coaches that just the opposite is true because they are so committed to your success that they welcome the questions, phone calls and emails. Solomon wrote, "Plans are established by seeking advice; so if you wage war, obtain guidance." (Proverbs 20:18) We are in a spiritual battle. The consequences are eternal. So seek advice at any cost. Solomon wrote, "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." (Proverbs 15:22)
Coachable leaders can easily slip into any of the reasons we just considered because leadership is intense, emotional and fatiguing. Leadership demands a certain level of mental toughness and to have a coach who believes in you and is willing to walk alongside you is critical to their success.
Solomon appealing as a father to a son wrote, "Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding." (Proverbs 4:5-7)
- Are you praying for God to bring people into your life that will love you enough to speak the truth to you?
- Which of the five reasons do you wrestle with the most?
- What can demotivate you in your coaching relationship?
- Does your coach or mentor make themselves available to you?
- What are the signs that you are getting emotional or mentally fatigued in your leadership role?
- What habits are you establishing to develop a deeper level of mental toughness?
Check out the Ten Marks of a Coachable Leader series.