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A lifetime of learning and being coachable.

I am addicted to learning.
The old adage of “the more you learn, the more you earn” is something I took very seriously (alongside the obvious need for application of the learning).
So when I come across people who are closed off to learning, who have decided their knowledge is superior and cannot be added to by others who are newer to the game than they are, I quite frankly, feel like banging my head against a wall.
This has crossed my path a lot in recent weeks, so I have decided I am going to reignite this medium to have a rant.
So bare with me.
Some of it should be constructive.

Some of the most successful people I meet are some of the most learning obsessed.
Warren Buffett (my hero) has a reputation for being a prodigious reader, spending as much as six hours per day reading books and newspapers. He said himself: “I just sit in my office and read all day.” That’s a direct quote.
So, the simplest thing you can do to be a success is mirror successful people, whilst I don’t manage 6 hours a day (yet), that is a dream for me and a legitimate goal.
So why don’t some people want to learn?
Why can’t some people be told?
Why do people always think they know best?
Well, of course it depends on the individual, but any combination of ignorance, arrogance, procrastination, fear, undervaluing knowledge, distraction, other priorities or stubbornness.
Being coachable, and willing to learn has the ability to change your life.
It can benefit children, athletes, business owners, employers, public speakers, partners, managers, coaches themselves and more. Anyone. It is not whether coaching and learning is right for you, it is whether you are ready to receive it (and if you are not you could learn to make yourself so)

Accepting the vulnerability of not knowing the answers, of being willing to ask for them, and a keenness to gain that knowledge is the greatest strength in any one looking for success.
People too often view this is as a weakness.
Often pride and ego are the largest of obstacles to progress in learning.
Never let pride hold back your potential.
We are not static, we are either getting a little bit better (smarter) or a little bit worse (dimmer) every day.
I am going to choose the former.

James Clear – Atomic Habits – supporting that “we are not static”

Being coachable means you are open to asking for and receiving feedback, looking inward (with assistance) at how you can move forward, and being interested in growth and being held accountable for it. You don’t take things personally or as a criticism, instead you see it as an opportunity. You listen, plan, do, and review using feedback to examine your own performance in order to achieve what you’re committed to. It doesn’t mean you have to take everything others share with you as being the right way, it means that you’re willing to look and see if it may well be. You are able to develop your opinion, but consider if it is right, if it is from the right place and if it is serving you in seeking progress in whatever area you wish to.
We do not know what we do not know.
People have done everything that we want to do in almost all cases.
The best advice is always going to come through those who have done what you want to do, and can prove it.
You really shouldn’t be doing these things alone, and in most cases you simply can’t.
Take the help.
Find the who not the who (PS recommend this book “who not how” Benjamin Hardy)

So who are the coachable? Well some very basic and required qualities include:

  1. Openness to learning something new: They don’t know what they don’t know and they know that they don’t know it. They understand opportunity lies often in their blind spots. It isn’t just books and reading, but often learning more about ourselves to promote our growth and transform the areas we need to reach our goals.
  2. Self-Awareness: Sometimes we don’t even know ourselves. We need to be forced to look inward for progress. It is the key to being able to understand ourselves, how we work with others, our key motivations, habits, challenges, reactions, strengths and weaknesses. Success in every situation will depend upon our understanding of ourselves and the application of ourselves in that situation.
  3. Action-oriented: Be willing to get things done. Whether doing them yourself or leveraging your time and delegating to others on your team (see who not how above). Being focused on the steps that need to be taken rather than obsessing over the things that may never happen. Being motivated by our commitments and not allow ourselves to be sidetracked or distracted. When we do it is both ours, and the coaches job to get us back on track.
  4. Accountable: Accountability from within and without. Making the right choices for ourselves but being willing, and even expecting, to be called out when we may not have. In essence, it means as people we are willing to take responsibility, not make excuses, manage expectations, owning our shit, and not letting our thoughts, emotions or reactions take us off course.
  5. Willing to try new things: As seekers of growth, they are always willing to hear new ideas, test new theories, and hear from others so they can learn and achieve their goals more efficiently and expeditiously. They try things on rather than closing the door. They explore whether it fits before discarding it. They also know to seek coaching when they are trying on too many new things at once as they know that can also work against them.
  6. Thinks long-term: Someone who is coachable has goals. They want to progress. Otherwise, there is nothing to coach. People look for help in moving forward, nobody needs help to get worse, humans have an innate ability to make that happen without help far too often. Thinking long-term and working towards a result or accomplishment that has meaning is essential in making any form of coaching successful. Nobody else can want it for you.

So are you coachable?
Do you think people can help you?
Do you have a goal that matters enough, the knowledge you need help to move towards it and a willingness to ask for the help without pride or ego that could impede your progress?
Do you know what you don’t know?
What is honestly stopping you? An excuse? Pride? Ego? Time? Blah blah.
We all need help.
Everyone can offer you value. The right ones can change your life.
If you want to be better it starts with you. People can help you. A coach can help you. A peer group can help you. A network can help you. But first, you need to help you.

If it is property reach out.
Whatever it is. Get help. You deserve it.

Enough from me, I am off to watch becoming Warren Buffett for the 112th time. Did I mention I am a fan?