Posted on

Hard-Headed or coachable: Which one are you?


If your company offered you a career coach to help you build your career, would you feel offended or paranoid that they offered?

Recently I worked with a senior manager whose company gave her coaching sessions with our organization. Although she was not the only one offered sessions, this person looked at employee coaching as a terrible thing. She resisted the idea by avoiding or canceling appointments and refusing to do assignments.{{more}} Unfortunately, this individual saw coaching as a negative thing instead of seizing the moment and taking the opportunity to improve her skills. Employee coaching is simply an opportunity to work closely with an experienced professional who can help propel your career by helping you identify and work on areas of strengths and weaknesses. The problem is that not many people can effectively handle a review of their performance, but in today’s work world, regardless of where you live, it is important to be coachable. Being coachable means that as an employee you are open to learning new concepts and new ways of doing business and that you are willing to step out of your comfort zone in order to advance yourself on the job.

As simple as this may sound, it is often difficult to do. It’s challenging because in order to be coachable, you need to first admit that there are things that you do not know, even if you’re the one in charge of a department. For some people, this admission may leave them feeling vulnerable on the job.

When you recognize the need to be developed professionally, the issue then turns to who is the teacher? Will you have to learn from someone you do not like? Or someone younger than you are? This can sometimes create unnecessary tension in the professional relationship.

Finally, being coachable may mean that you will have to step out of your comfort zone and possibly trade in old work habits for newer, more effective ones. The most obvious example is in technology. Technology has already changed our lives dramatically, and many people are still behind professionally because they are apprehensive about embracing the newest technology.

To be a success, you must be willing to take responsibility for always learning new ways to be the most productive. Learning should not stop after obtaining the job you want, as there are other employees who are continually honing their skills and seeking better opportunities.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to
Visit online at