Many business leaders struggle with the coachability of their employees. However, psychological experts have discovered that avoiding person-centered feedback can increase the receptiveness of the person receiving feedback.
Of course, there are many techniques you can use to improve coachability in the workplace. With the right techniques, you may find that your employees are more responsive and start implementing your advice.
So, how can you provide feedback that positively influences your employees' coachability? Read on to learn all about the most important techniques for helping people effectively receive coaching!
What Is Coachability?
Coachability refers to the capability of an employee to learn and grow from the instructions received from another person. The other person can be a trainer, mentor, peer, or teacher.
Characteristics of a Coachable Employee
Understanding a coachable employee's characteristics is essential before trying to influence coachability in the workplace. As they say, you can only improve what you know. Here are some of the attributes of a coachable employee:
Coachable employees do not come with many preconceived notions and are open-minded. They are willing to take feedback and criticism. It is one of the essential characteristics of a coachable employee. Highly coachable employees do not see feedback as an insult. Instead, they understand the context and take action to bring meaningful changes.
Brave in character
A coachable employee carries a brave character and is willing to make changes in their personality, working style, and skills. It requires mettle in character to accept feedback and criticism readily. Coachable employees carry a brave character and acknowledge when they are wrong. At the same time, they are willing to make amends to ensure that there is consistent improvement in their performance.
Coachable employees have clear goals set for their careers. They may not know the best path to take but see the end goals. At the same time, they have the drive to go through the necessary steps to achieve these goals. The idea here is to align the organizational goals with the employee's personal goals to create a win-win scenario.
High level of determination
Coachable employees have a high determination to see their goals become a reality. Coachable employees are consistently working on improving themselves and achieving the desired results. The high level of determination helps them see coaching as an efficient means to an end that matches their growth.
High risk-taking ability
Coachable employees have high risk-taking ability and are competitive. They are not afraid of failure. Instead, they use failures as motivation to learn, grow and improve. As a result, coachable employees are an asset to the organization.
Analyzing: Are your employees coachable?
For an employee to be coachable, they must be committed to achieving development. At the same time, they need to possess the capacity to reach the skill level you expect them to with the coaching. Coachability is a mix of willingness and ability. You can only influence coachability in the workplace if employees have the willingness or capacity. Here is how you can figure out if your employees are coachable:
One of the best things you can check is the attitude of your employees. A positive attitude toward working and learning opportunities means a high level of coachability, while a negative attitude signals a lack of interest. You can conduct a feedback session as a starting point to analyze your team's perspective and understand the results to identify the level of receptiveness toward coaching.
Body language is one of the essential cues toward the coachability of an employee. You can analyze the body language and focus on other non-verbal communication to understand the level of coachability in your team. Positive body language can help you identify the coachable employees and vice versa.
Justification of past behavior
Putting improvement over correctness is the priority of a coachable employee. You should analyze if your team members tend to justify their behavior after receiving feedback. If yes, there is a low level of openness toward coachability. The team must understand that the input is being provided for the team's improvement rather than highlighting the shortcomings.
Ask for feedback
One of the things that you can analyze is how many times employees ask for feedback. Instead of waiting for the manager, how many employees try to reach out to check feedback on their efforts? This analysis will help you understand the level of coachability in the team. If employees come up with managers and top management for feedback, it signals a high level of coachability in the group. If not, you are handling people who will resist change.
Level of curiosity
Analyzing the level of curiosity in the team can help you understand the level of coachability. You can judge the level of interest by checking how many employees ask questions and are looking for opportunities to improve. The number of questions being asked in the workplace can reflect the level of curiosity. A high level of interest signals a high level of coachability and vice versa.
Importance of Coachability in the Workplace
It is critical to ensure coachability in the workplace. To influence coachability, employees need to understand the importance of being coached. Here are some reasons why coachability is essential for business success:
Help reinforce vision and mission
Without all employees understanding the importance of the vision and mission of the organization, it becomes difficult for the organization as a whole to achieve it. As employees become open to coaching, they better understand how their responsibilities help accomplish the organization's vision. Coachability helps reinforce the organization's core identity elements, i.e., vision and mission, and how employees can help achieve the set targets.
Accountability is at the center of the success of any organization. Coachability helps in improving the level of responsibility in the organization. Employees feel personally responsible for the organization's success as they go through the learning curve and see a better version of themselves. With the correct accountability framework, employees are motivated to go the extra mile to ensure the success of the organization.
Opportunity for self-reflection
Coachability helps employees pause from the daily schedule and reflect on their work. As most employees get consumed with their daily schedules working 'in' the business, they forget they are supposed to be working 'on' the company. Coachability provides that window where employees can introspect and put in place a framework that helps them improve their performance. It also allows employees to look at strategies that are working or not working per expectations.
Identification of leadership roles
Coachability in the organization helps identify employees willing to listen, learn and apply. These employees are open to learning and making the business a success. Coachability is an essential element that can help you identify employees ready for leadership roles. As promotions need employees to work in a new ecosystem, coachable employees can gradually move into new positions.
Ways to Influence Coachability
1. Focus on the problem rather than the person
Some people ask, 'What is coachable?' To be coachable simply means that you listen to quality advice when it is presented to you.
One of the best ways to help employees be coachable is by coaching them about the situation rather than about themselves. When you criticize people personally, it can make them extremely defensive. After all, if they accept that your criticism is correct, they have to confront the fact that they are flawed.
It is much easier to receive criticism when it is about something less sensitive. That means that employers may find that their employees are much more coachable if they talk to their employees about specific actions and situations.
Think about it this way. Instead of you and your employee going head to head talking about whether or not they have flaws, you are standing side-by-side. You are looking together at a situation and collaboratively trying to figure out how to improve it. This way of thinking can help your employees be much more coachable.
2. Be as specific as possible
Specificity is extremely powerful when it comes to providing feedback. People are much more coachable when they understand exactly what you are asking from them. If all they can tell is that you are dissatisfied in some way, they may feel confused and resistant.
To solve this problem, be as specific as possible when giving feedback. In fact, it might even be best to avoid giving feedback at all unless you can be extremely specific.
Sometimes, that means limiting the amount of feedback you provide in a given conversation. Stick with the things you can be extremely specific about. Make sure to work out in advance the exact request that you would like your employee to comply with.
It is also often best to limit your criticism to one thing at a time. If you need to give feedback to an employee about many things, you can give them some time between each session of feedback. That way, you can confirm that they are coachable and improving before trying to add more things to their plate.
After all, there is no point in providing feedback if they are not going to follow it. There is also no point in providing feedback about many things if the employee cannot remember them all.
These strategies can help your employee understand exactly what is expected of them. That can make them less resistant and more coachable.
3. Make sure to give positive employee feedback
Employees are much more coachable when they receive positive feedback periodically. Ideally, employers should occasionally call their employees to give them nothing but positive feedback. That way, if they need to call them in later for negative feedback, the employee won't feel like their employer only sees the negative aspects of their performance.
If necessary, you can give positive and negative feedback in the same conversation. However, you have to be careful with this. Don't make up positive feedback just to try to soften the blow of your negative feedback.
4. Avoid insincerity
There are many techniques that people use to try to soften the blow of negative feedback. However, it is important not to use these techniques indiscriminately. Many of them only work if your delivery is sincere and impeccable.
If you're not sure that you can make a particular technique work perfectly, it is often best to avoid using it at all. For example, some people might think it is a good idea to cite concern about the employee's well-being as the primary reason they are giving them negative feedback. However, employees are often justifiably suspicious of these kinds of expressions.
Some employers develop a well-earned reputation over time for genuinely caring about the well-being of their employees. However, if they do not have that reputation, these kinds of expressions may fail.
These kinds of moves are not costless when they fail. Instead, they often make things worse than if you had simply avoided using them at all.
That is why simplicity is often the right move when it comes to giving feedback. You can simply tell the employee that there is some way that you would like them to improve.
If there are any incentives for them to comply, you can mention them. If you will be tracking their performance in the future, it might be important to tell them that. That way, they will know whether or not there is any chance of them getting away with not being coachable.
In short, it may make sense to mention the relevant facts of the situation. But it might be best to avoid trying to add more complicated techniques to your feedback unless you are sure you can pull them off effectively.
5. Give feedback about employee performance at the right time
Sometimes, an employer gives feedback in the perfect way, except that they pick the wrong time. If an employee is having a bad day, it may be difficult for them to be coachable, no matter how well you provide them with feedback.
An employee might also be struggling to meet a certain deadline. Adding negative feedback to the stress of the situation might make them very unreceptive. If at all possible, wait until the right time before you give feedback.
Understand the most powerful ways to improve workplace coachability
It is crucial to influence coachability in the workplace to ensure that employees are open to being coached. You must create a favorable ecosystem where employees with possible gap areas in their skill sets are provided with the proper support. It will help to improve the level of willingness of employees to be coached. At the same time, the organization should work toward establishing systems that help improve the employees' capabilities. An efficient framework that allows employees to level up their skills will help them to realize the benefits of being part of the system.
We hope learning about the best ways to influence coachability in your workplace has been helpful for you. Many people are frustrated because they know exactly how their employees could behave so as to improve their performance. Their main struggle is figuring out how to get their employees to follow their advice.
That is exactly where learning more about coachability comes in handy. A better understanding of coachability can mean enjoying receptive employees who rapidly improve in performance. To learn more about how to influence coachability via 1:1s, feel free to reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!