How to Be Coachable | 120 Seconds to Better Leadership

I’m here to today to talk about when people are uncoachable. If you are a manager of others you may find that some direct reports coach along quite easily and others may be quite difficult. And even as a professional coach with 20 years of experience, I can say I find some people pretty uncoachable. Here are some of the traits that can cause that.  


First, people that have a static mindset. In other words, people that think they are who they are, and that nothing’s going to change that tend to not be very coachable, because they don’t think that with hard work or introspection they can change or grow in a significant way. So if they don’t think it can work, it probably won’t work. People that are more coachable are people with growth mindsets – people who believe that, no matter what, the next day they can be better, and they never stop working at that over the course of their lifetime. Much easier to coach.  


One of the other things that we find can make people uncoachable is personality traits that don’t really lend themselves to honesty, vulnerability, and a willingness to look at themselves as a piece of a problem. People that have narcissistic tendencies can be very difficult to coach, because no matter what the evidence says, no matter what the 360 says, no matter what the organization says, they think they’re not the problem. They’re really incapable of seeing themselves as part of the problem, so they don’t tend to want to work on themselves. They tend to blame organizational circumstances for anything that they may or may not do.

Not Everyone is Easy to Reach

If you’re finding someone who is very difficult to coach, of course work on those coaching skills, of course reach out to a professional, but just know that some people are just not all that easy to reach.