3 Steps to Becoming More Coachable

Chris Stanley
June 28, 2015

One of the most important traits anyone looking to go into sales can possess is coachability.  All of the hiring managers we work with at LaunchSource include a portion that evaluates a candidate’s ability to be coached during the interview process.  Why?  Because they want Business Development Reps (BDR)  that have the potential to  improve over time.  Being coachable requires a set of interpersonal skills that allow an individual to learn, grow and reach their potential. Here are three simple yet important tips that will help you be more coachable and ultimately set you on the path to becoming a better BDR.

  1. Listening - Sounds obvious, right?  Thing is, there is a huge difference between listening and actively listening.  When you’re receiving advice, criticism or even during a normal conversation it is important to engage in active listening with whomever you’re speaking with.  Don’t just nod your head and agree - it’s important to ask questions, bring up concerns you may have and clarify anything that’s unclear before the end of the conversation.  This will ensure you don’t waste time doing a task incorrectly, prevent the “I told you” conversations and  highlight your intelligence and aptitude.  It should always be a goal to not have to be told the same thing twice.
  2. Responding to Criticism - Most people hate being being told they are not doing something correctly or are not up to standard.  In order to improve yourself and impress your employer, turn it all into constructive criticism.  Take this as an opportunity to learn and improve yourself professionally.  Rather than responding with an excuse or bitterness, pivot your focus to increasing the importance of improving the mistake that may have been brought to your attention.  Your managers want you to succeed and you should use their feedback to help you get ahead. Your success translates to success for them and ultimately success for the company.
  3. Taking Action - So you’ve received a new task, some constructive criticism or a piece of advice from a manager.  Now what?  The most important part is to implement it!  While this sounds simple, many people attempt to take action but ultimately fall back into their old ways.  Even if you don’t find immediate success, stick with it.  Show up early, stay late, work with your manager to become more comfortable and effective with the change they are trying to implement upon you.  This is where you are able to showcase your work ethic and capabilities.  This is where you prove that you are coachable.

This list could have gone on for pages.  It could have contained small, specific insights but ultimately if you are sure to follow these three important guidelines you will be a coachable employee.  This is an aptitude that managers notice, and will ultimately accelerate your growth as a young professional.