We’ve talked about coaching relationships a lot – what to look for, red flags, and qualities that matter. Now, coaching is a two-way street. Guidance is given and received; it’s not enough to just focus on the coach and the protocols.

The next important piece of this puzzle is the client.

There are certain “coachable” qualities that embody successful clients. Clients who get the most out of this coaching relationship and maximize what they accomplish throughout that time together. In this article, we’ll look into what these qualities are and why they make a difference in the coaching relationship. If you want to hear us talk all about this in detail, make sure to listen to one of this week’s podcasts, Episode 123: How to be Coachable. 

What are Coachable Qualities?

Honesty

We respond and adjust based on the information we’re provided, so if that information is false or skewed in whatever way, we’re essentially making changes based on what we deem to be accurate. Here’s an example:

Client A’s prescribed cardio is 120 minutes per week. Client A reports completing said cardio, but in reality, he/she only did about 60 minutes. Well, turns out we’re still not seeing much progress on this diet, so I choose to add more activity that week. This makes it even harder on Client A because he/she wasn’t adhering to the previous cardio targets (unknown to me) and may now have an even harder time managing this new change. See the issue?

Open Communication

These first two qualities can go hand in hand, but they are still quite different. Being able to be honest is one thing but being open fully with where you’re at and how you’re feeling throughout this process is also just as important to the coaching relationship.

Coaches are not mind readers. If you’re feeling a particular way about your current goals or feelings towards any part of the plan, you should feel comfortable sharing that and you should definitely not feel scared to do so.

Patience

Ah, everyone’s favorite word! But seriously, patience is a huge part of this process and one that needs to be understood by all clients. I would be doing my client a disservice if I made promises about providing quick 8-, 10-, and 12-week transformations. More often than not, making significant physique and lifestyle changes takes much longer than that and it’s important that the client keep realistic expectations regarding their timelines.

Trust + Open-mindedness

Now, we recorded an episode all about the common “jUsT tRuSt mE” statement we often label as a red flag, but there’s still a balance that needs to be struck here when it comes to trusting your coach. Clients should absolutely be able to ask questions, but at the same time there do come some downsides if we’re nitpicking every moving part of the machine – analyzing things to that degree takes away from what we’re doing.

If you’re having particular issues and your coach offers reasonable solutions or strategies to combat them, but you don’t want to budge or change your ways, well you’re still going to be having those issues… This is a scenario where you need to remember that you hired a coach for a reason. To be guided towards whatever goal you’re working towards, even if that may come with taking routes you didn’t think you would need to (safe and responsible strategies, of course).

Effort

Last but definitely not least, we’ve got your effort. I can give you or anyone a plan, macros, cardio, training programming, BUT if you’re not executing that plan and giving your effort to the plan, none of those plans, resources, or tools matter. Now, some of this depends on where the client’s starting point is and what they can handle, which usually presents themselves early on in that coaching relationship. There’s a time to pull back and push clients; pushing yourself and being receptive to being pushed by your coach is incredibly important. This can span from any goals that clients are working towards (i.e., mending their relationship with food, dieting, not dieting, building muscle, training…). It’s not enough to simply sign up for something – you get out of the plan what you put into it.

I’m sure we can list more qualities, but these are what we feel are the top characteristics and what it means to be truly “coachable.” These qualities not only apply for coaching relationships but can be used to improve upon many different relationships and facets in your life!

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