Sunday, May 30, 2010

What is Generative Coachablility?

In the type of work I do (manager, marketer, business developer), I occasionally get to attend continuing education/professional development type events. I feel very fortunate that I get this opportunity for multiple reasons: I learn new things, I meet interesting people, I become better at what I do, and they are expensive if I had to pay for them on my own.

I recently attended one called LCP Training, which stands for Leadership, Creativity, and Power. True, it sounds a little idealistic and frankly, corny. But, it was filled with insights about communication, listening, prioritizing, motivating, goal setting, and generally a lot of things we are okay at, but can always improve.

However, I gleaned onto one insight in particular, the concept of "generative coachability".

To define this, I'll first break it down. Generative means capable of producing or creating. Coachability means the ability to take instruction or advice. The concept is that you will take every opportunity and encounter you have as a way to learn something new.  I want to be like this everyday.

I am in a growth period in my life and I recognize that I am evolving and will become more self aware and socially aware the further I go in this process. So this was timely and appropriate for me right now, which are usually the things we glean onto, right? However, I will incorporate generative coachability into my day to day life, hopefully indefinitely. And I'll do my best to not be annoying about it with all of you.

Here are a couple of ways I have done this in the past few days:

  1. I was told by one of the instructors that I was essentially too verbose. Instead of just being bothered by this, I decided to pull him aside and ask him if he would clarify and give me some coaching. Recognizing that I need to speak out loud to process data and form opinions, his suggestions were 2 things: first, when I need to speak to actually get to what my point is that I should let the person know ahead of time, "Will you just indulge me and let me verbalize my thoughts out loud until I come to a point?".  Second, that I should learn to be okay with silence in a conversation so I can take the time to figure out what I want to say before I say it. He followed it up by telling me that I was eloquent and good with words and those were great traits, that I just needed to hone my delivery in certain situations. Great advice and turned a potentially negative perception I had of myself into something I can really learn from.
  2. In my TRX training I'm obviously doing physical activity. However, I realized that the group dynamic was something I wanted to use to my advantage. So I switched classes to join one of more fit and very motivated individuals. What I am taking from that? It is synergistic- they push me, I push them, they push me harder, etc. I need to continue to surround myself with people that push me and make me better- by inspiring, questioning, or encouraging me. And this needs to happen in every area of my life.
  3. I participated in a chocolate tasting. Awesome in itself, of course. But I learned that just 10 minutes of self indulgence and focused attention will give me more peace of mind for a much, much longer period of time than I thought possible. Is 10 minutes and 70 calories at the end of a work day worth a relaxed evening and easier mental shutdown before bed? Abso-freakin-lutely. Eat more chocolate!
Generative coachability, awesome...

...QueenB Says


  1. Just a follow up note: I tried the communication advice already with Jay. As I got into a story, he interrupted to clarify/give advice on something. So I asked him to just give me a few minutes to talk outloud by myself, then I would get his feedback/advice. Because I set it up that way, it was clearly easier for him to be okay with my "rambling". Huge new way to be a more effective communicator!

  2. I love the communication advice! I have noticed that most of my marital fights in life have been because hubby tries to fix something in the middle of a conversation rather than just listening. I try to tell him I just need to talk something out, and then I would love to hear his point of view!

    Love the blogs - especially the advice blog!