July 2, 2024

Lifelong Coachability

By:  Marc Casciani

Lifelong learning refers to the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for personal or professional reasons. It’s about continuously enhancing your skills and knowledge, regardless of your occupation, age, or educational level. Examples include taking online courses, learning a new language, attending workshops, or even picking up a new hobby. Employers value lifelong learners because they adapt, upskill, and navigate change effectively.

Lifelong coachability is different. As a term, coachability has not officially entered the lexicon of American language. However, it should because coachability is not just teachability. It’s not just a willingness to learn. It’s a willingness to unlearn and change. Coachability is a moral capacity that allows a person to accept feedback, acknowledge faults, limitations, and deficiencies, and act on the new information. Coachability is a relevant concept everywhere — at home, in the workplace, on the gridiron, and every arena of life.

I love this word, coachability. It’s better than learning. It signifies that we should not only have a willingness to learn, but a willingness to unlearn and change for the better. Don’t simply seek knowledge but transform it into information and action to improve the quality of life for yourself and others.

Realize that achieving this goal is not possible if we are proud. Rather, we need to be humble. Humility and pride are opposing forces and cannot coexist. Grace is given to the humble. Opposition is shown to the proud.

Realize our coachability must be retained through the good and the bad in life. We must learn, unlearn, and change for the better no matter what happens because every experience is an opportunity to grow and make another version of yourself. You version 2.0 should be better than You version 1.0.

In my experience, successful teams, organizations, and communities celebrate coachability. There are two uncomfortable pedagogical methods that a coachable person embraces on the way to better outcomes.

  1. Overcoming the fear of failure, by allowing yourself to do something poorly on the way to doing it better.
  2. Engaging with others in mutual encouragement, affirmation, and exploration.

Going from version 1.0 to version 2.0 looks like a step change on the surface, however, it is almost never what improvement looks like in practice. The persistent commitment to slightly better on a daily basis inevitably makes a difference over time. Lifelong coachable people are committed to learning, unlearning, and changing in a regular, continual, and gradual way in a community with others aligned in the same pursuit.

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