The Finance Leader Podcast

Bonus Episode 21: Becoming Coachable

June 22, 2021 Stephen McLain
The Finance Leader Podcast
Bonus Episode 21: Becoming Coachable
Show Notes Transcript

This week, I want to share an encore episode from earlier this year, Episode 37, Becoming Coachable to Improve Performance. Being open to feedback and to constructive criticism is key to our long-term development. I am encouraging you to be open to listening to feedback when it comes your way, then evaluate it and then make a decision if you want to apply it. 

If you are not open to receiving feedback, then you might miss something incredible that you can apply to your life or career. You might receive 5-10 pieces of feedback over the next 2-3 months, but one might be career or life changing, so be open minded enough to receive it. That one gem might make the difference for you.

For more resources, please visit On the website, you can download the Leadership Growth Blueprint for Finance and Accounting Managers. You can use this guide to develop your leadership by focusing on communication, and growing and empowering your team.

You can now purchase a course to help you advance your career from It's called Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.

Please follow me on:

1. Instagram: stephen.mclain
2. Twitter: smclainiii
3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant

Stephen McLain:

Hi, this is Stephen McLain of the finance leader podcast. This is bonus episode number 21. Hello, everybody. Last week I wrapped up season six, with a two part interview with talent management executive Kevin Richie. If you missed the interview, please go back to episodes 54 and 55. You don't want to miss Kevin's insight into the topics I covered during the season. It was amazing. This week, I want to share an encore episode from earlier this year, Episode 37 becoming coachable to improve performance. being open to feedback and to constructive criticism is key to our long term development. I am encouraging you to be open to listening to feedback when it comes your way, then evaluate it, and then make a decision if you want to apply it. If you are not open to receiving feedback that you might miss something incredible that you can apply to your life or career, you might receive five to 10 pieces of feedback over the next two or three months. But one might be career or life changing. So be open minded enough to receive it that one gem might make the difference for you. I am working on season seven, which will debut on July 20. So please enjoy this encore episode. Have a great week. Now go lead your team. And I'll see you next week. Thank you. We all need coaching to help us see things in ourselves that we do not see. Becoming more coachable is having a growth mindset ready to change so we can rise to the next level, humbling ourselves, and self awareness opens the door to accepting critical feedback that provides opportunity for growth. What will you do when you finally see an area in your professional life that needs an adjustment? Please enjoy the episode. Welcome to the finance leader podcast where leadership is bigger than the numbers. I am your host Stephen McLain. This is the podcast for developing leaders in finance and accounting. This is episode number 37. And now we'll be discussing about becoming more open to coaching as we accept critical feedback, and I'll talk about the following points. Number one, we must be open minded about feedback. Number two, we must become more self aware. Number three, coaching helps us self discover. Number four, we need to challenge our own mindset. Michael Jordan said my best skill was that I was coachable. I was a sponge and aggressive to learn. First, I want to ask you how you are doing on setting your goals for this year. Last week's episode, Episode Number 36. was dedicated to setting goals for this year. And I've had an amazing response to this topic. I did a short teaser episode at the end of last year to get you thinking about what you wanted to accomplish this year. And of course last week, we focused the entire episode on goal setting. I mean, I even reviewed and updated my own goals just a few days ago. Goal setting is a continuous process, we need to assess, adjust and then update our plan. To achieve a goal requires a process and a plan. Goal setting is an ongoing process that never ends, especially if you want to be successful. Now do you have a spot in your workspace that you can post your goals or some other place that you can see it daily to remind you of what you're working toward, post your goals. So you see them every day. And so you can take action, keep going and get it done this year. Now today is about being more coachable, which is tied to our goal achievement, and our goal planning. Now how do you improve on performance and increase your potential for advancement. And of course, we can self evaluate, which is very important. But we often need outside feedback in the form of coaching. And of course there is coaching that we choose and coaching that we don't we sometimes receive coaching from a supervisor, we can often pay a coach to help us. And of course there are other sources of coaching, coming from peers and friends and our inner circle and anybody else that we happen to work around or who knows us very well. Now coaching can give us clarity in our goals, and sometimes others see things in us before we do and sometimes it is so obvious and we still can't see it. And that's why coaching is important because coaching gives an opportunity to consider very introspective questions and introspective discussions and observations that help us to look deeper ourselves, to think about our performance, to challenge our mindset, to look at how we view the world, and how we view ourselves in the performance of our daily duties, and how we look at people, how we approach things, how we approach adversity, how we approach a tough task, everything having to do with our performance, this is what great coaching can do for us, it helps us to think it helps us to gain perspective about how we work on a task, or how we work with others, or how we approach a tough task. What we do when something comes at us, that's very difficult, I love coaching. And again, a coach helps us to see things before we even see it. And of course, sometimes we can't see it. And that may be because of our attitude, and maybe because of our bias. And maybe because our approach to a tough situation, or our attention to detail or lack of attention to detail are lacking and not delivering what we have been asked to do. It could be a number of reasons. And also, and maybe because we don't respect the source of the coaching, it could be a million reasons. People get comfortable, where they're at. And they lose out on opportunities, because they aren't willing to tackle what needs to be fixed in their professional lives, in order to go to the next level. So if you want to grow and advance your career, then coaching is key to breaking out of where you are now. So you can move forward. Becoming coachable is the act of listening and acting with the intent of accepting feedback and then acting on it. Can you improve? Can you grow, growth is often uncomfortable, it forces us out of our comfort zone, and not being complacent. a growth mindset helps us see things and helps us understand that we are not fixed where we are at. We don't have to stay where we are at in our skill level. In our performance level. Our growth mindset means we can continue to improve and develop and take on tougher tasks, and prepare ourselves for advancement. Now, during my early career, I was a mixture of being coachable and not coachable. The times I was coachable was when I saw my best performance and strongest growth. At times, I probably had an attitude toward who was coaching me. And I probably lost out on some good tips because of me, because of my attitude. Because of my approach of who was trying to tell me things I needed to consider and things that I could use to help me, I probably didn't have much respect for the person who is coaching me. We sometimes don't get to pick who is coaching us, especially when it comes from within our job. Our supervisor will coach us and maybe we don't believe in this person. But maybe this person has a few observations or tips that can propel us to a higher level of performance. Don't necessarily shut off mentally, the coaching that comes at us when we don't control it, be open, and consider how it may help you. Now I had a phenomenal coaching experience from an other army officer. While my unit was on a month long exercise on a desert in California back in 2001. He was a great coach, he approached coaching in the right way. Asking questions, asking probing questions. Asking questions really got to have us think about what we could do better for us to self discover for us to figure it out. But the questions were incredible. my team's performance excelled over the exercise. And I know that it had to do with my attitude, and how I could be more coachable and it paid off for us. Now let's talk about being more open to coaching. First thing is, we must be open minded about feedback. And it begins with our own attitude. We must realize that we can receive tidbits and nuggets of improvements from just about anywhere. We must be open to suggestions from multiple sources, you never know when an insight can be valuable to improving your own performance. To break out from where we are today requires coaching. It requires us to be open to feedback and to open no matter what the source is. We need to be challenged. We need to get out of our complacency. We need to get out of where we are now in the daily grind of our tasks, and need to be open to moving forward. Our attitude, our mindset, and what we have set for ourselves all need to be challenged. The second thing is we need to become more self aware. Now do you realize the effect that you have on others, your words, your actions? Are you doing everything you can do every day To get better to improve, are you willing to accept feedback on how your words and actions affects others? Are you having a positive impact at your job? Now on episode 27 of this podcast, I discussed the importance of understanding emotional intelligence, and how it affects our ability to create a positive environment. And that means for us to be acceptable to insights that we don't see or don't want to see about ourselves. Our words and actions definitely affects others and affects their performance. To be ready to apply what we discover in coaching requires us to be aware of our own shortcomings and gaps in our skills and abilities. Which then of course, leads us to the next item. Item number three is that good coaching helps us to self discover. The best coaching comes from questions that make us dig deep in ourselves for the answers, we need to own our own performance. And we need to own our own development. The answers are inside us. If we become more self aware, and own what we can change, we need to own our responses to situations and own it. When we don't perform well. We need to own our character, our integrity, our performance, our actions, our words, everything that we can do in response to reacting to everything going on. Within the external stimuli of our environment, we own that reaction, we own our performance, we own how well or don't do well on a task, or on the job that we are on, or our attitude every day, how we approach our daily activities, we need to own it, we need to self discover, we need to be open to those probing questions that a coach is throwing at us. And then number four, we need to challenge our own mindset. mindset is the key to everything in your life. It comes down to how we see ourselves in the world, what we you allow to stop yourself from achieving your goals and becoming more successful. It's up to you, how you act and react, how you respond to adversity, how you spend your time and the pursuit of your goals. What do you do in your off time? What do you do when you're finished your activities for the day on your job, you definitely need to focus on your health and also your mental health. But of course, you need to be focused time on growth and development, we must focus on our goals and not let the obstacles stop us from achieving them. So coaching comes to being more open minded, regardless of the source. It is about being more self aware, and be ready to self discover, and continually challenge our own mindset. So that we can grow and grab the opportunities when we see them and opportunities that come at us. So we're ready. And we have developed and we have grown. And we have the right skill set and the right mindset to move forward. For an easy win. Today, I want you to ask yourself, if you are open to change an open to another point of view to something in your professional life that must change. We don't get to choose every coaching experience in our career. But you may be surprised when our useful insight may be helpful. So that is why you need to be open to receiving it. How open are you to receiving coaching, even from a source that you don't choose, you may actually learn something. Now I want you to take action when being coached and when and where appropriate. I want you to adjust your planning your goals and update your individual development plan. record those valuable insights when you hear them and you must take action and move forward. You must own your own performance, your growth and development. I want you to take the feedback you get and then turn it into a positive action. Turn every coaching experience into a positive action. Find the one valuable piece of information or that one great probing question that really gets you to thinking about how you can improve and what you can change to become better. And I hope everyone out there does have positive coaching experiences in their life. No matter if it's on the job or if it's in your personal life. Be open and looking for it because it may come at you and you don't realize it. So be open always to that little piece of information, that little piece of insight that might help you You never know where it's gonna come from. So be open to it. I have a free guide for you. It's called the leadership growth blueprint for finance and accounting managers. In the guide I talked about three leadership areas Communication, team growth and empowerment. Plus a few recommendations around challenges with the systems you are probably using to complete your work. The link to the guide is in the episode description. Or you can go to Stephen McLain Comm. Please use it to help you with a few leadership wins today. Thank you. This episode is sponsored by my new online course offering through finance leader Academy. It's called Advanced your finance and accounting career, developing a promotion strategy that will set you apart. Are you having difficulty getting recognition from your leadership, despite all the hard work you pour into your job and your organization? This course helps you analyze what you bring to the organization, how you can set yourself apart from your peers through high visibility work, and developing your leadership skills. Plus, how you can devise a strategy to move ahead. You can go to Stephen McLain calm for more details. Today I talked about being more coachable with the following outline. Number one, we must be more open minded about feedback, too, we must become more self aware. Number three coaching helps us to self discover. And four we need to continually challenge our own mindset. Now next week I will be discussing about what may be holding you back. Again, this is key to us achieving our goals. And speaking of goals and share you update your goal plan this week. I hope you enjoyed the finance leader podcast I am dedicated to helping you grow your leadership. I hope you enjoyed the show. You can get this episode wherever you find podcasts. Until next time, you can check out more resources at Stephen McLain calm and sign up for my updates so you don't miss an episode of the show. And now go lead your team and I'll see you next time. Thank you