One of the most difficult questions most speakers may have to answer at some point in their speaking career is – “Are you coachable?” – As they try to find common ground between the edits of their coach, and their burning desire to be the speaker they are aspiring to be.
Good coaches give their protégé as much information as possible to improve the skills and style they already possess, however, as the protégé it is your responsibility to develop your learning strategy. It is your responsibility to ask yourself – how I can apply this information, style or, try to discover where this will or will not work and why. Finding the right answers to those questions can be challenging to both coach and protégé and may sometimes lead to the question – Are you coachable?
It is only natural to feel compelled to respond to comments or justify what someone said you did or should have done. It is in those times, I have found value in the rule of threes. Take note of the comment. If it is repeated – three different times, by three different people, in three different settings, there is a problem. Consult with your coach. Listen and take action on the feedback you receive. It is then your responsibility to go out again and test that feedback. In the speaking business, no one individual is Superman. Good coaches will suggest and urge you to test.
Make the rule of three an important part of your learning strategy. Be a sponge when you receive feedback from your coach. Seek to know more about how others respond to you as a speaker. Seek to know what you may be missing as a speaker. Don’t take feedback personally. If you can take feedback as being useful information for you and it is not about you, soon you will discover the true value of being a good protégé and the joy of being coachable.
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