You don’t know everything.
You do know that, don’t you?
As humans we have the capacity to do amazing things that our ancestors couldn’t fathom. Let me list a few of the accomplishments of the 20th century: the incandescent bulb, phonograph, telephone, automobile, airplane, nuclear power (and bombs), space travel, transistor, personal computer, artificial hearts and even the internet! Yet, because of these wonderful achievements, we create for ourselves sense of infallibility bordering on omnipotence.
But let’s get real for a second.
The great accomplishments in history are made by groups of people committed to a common goal for the benefit of others. And friends, that’s exactly the opportunity we have as speakers and marketers: to inspire, to lead, to cast a vision and to incite people to take action!
But with this great opportunity comes great responsibility. It means that we must acknowledge our personal and professional shortcomings and constantly work to improve ourselves. So again I ask, “Are you coachable?”
What does it mean to be coachable? I think it means that you need to be: approachable, attentive, receptive, curious, objective, honest, trusting and shapeable… Yet confident. It means that you must acknowledge that you have limitations. It means that you must seek others who are wiser or smarter than you. It means that you must listen with the intent to learn, rather than to “show what you know.”
Here are three quick ways to improve your “coach-ability”. If you’re given feedback or criticism observe yourself. Are you concerned with the following:
- Are you really trying to understand what s/he really meant by their comment?
- Were you willing/did you ask, “Can you tell me more about that?”
- Can you acknowledge – really acknowledge – that the feedback may have a seed of truth?
We live in times of great extremes in politics, religion and lifestyles. These extremes are divisive at a minimum and destructive at worst. As speakers, marketers and public figures we have a great opportunity to bring people together to create the “great accomplishments of the 21st century”.
Let us lead by example within our own spheres of influence and market niches. Let us lead with confidence and a coachable attitude.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi
Best to you,
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