Mastering Coaching Skills with Lindsay Dotzlaf | How to Be CoachableI’ve just got back from teaching at a mastermind in Cabo and I learned so much from the amazing people I was there with. And when I was thinking about how to share the knowledge with all of you, one thing really stood out, and it’s all about how to be coachable.

Have you ever considered that your level of coachability is a direct reflection of your coaching skills? That statement might ruffle a few feathers, but I want you to tune in this week and hear me out because once you understand this and how it works, honestly, it changes everything, both in how you get coached, but also how you coach your clients. And who doesn’t want that?

Wherever you are on your coaching journey, being coachable yourself is such an important part of helping your clients. So, tune in this week to discover what being coachable looks like, what it doesn’t look like, and how to use what I’m sharing in this episode to help your clients and yourself.

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why I believe the more coachable you are, the better you can coach your clients.
  • The importance of seeing where your clients aren’t being as coachable as they want to be.
  • How I help my clients directly in trying to become more coachable.
  • What I noticed come up in this mastermind around some people being more coachable than others.
  • How to show up as your most coachable self, and help your clients do the same as well.

Listen to the Full Episode:


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Full Episode Transcript:

Hey, this is Lindsay Dotzlaf and you’re listening to Mastering Coaching Skills episode 43.

To really compete in the coaching industry, you have to be great at coaching. That’s why every week, I will be answering your questions, sharing my stories, and offering tips and advice so you can be the best at what you do. Let’s get to work.

Hello, I am so happy to be here with you today. I am recording this right as I’ve gotten home from Mexico. From Cabo, where I was for about 9 or 10 days. And I’m going to share just briefly what I was doing there because it’s going to inform this podcast.

I have really been thinking a lot about the experience that I just had and what learning is in it for you. And I have something really good for you today, I think.

So first of all, I was there in Cabo to participate in my coaches 200K mastermind. So it is a business mastermind for coaches looking to make money. If you heard my interview with Stacey Boehman, it is her mastermind. I’m not in the mastermind, I was actually there to teach, which was so fun.

I got to teach breakout sessions. I got to coach every day in the mastermind. And I had the best time. That being said, I was able to coach a group of coaches and what I really got to see in those days are, first of all, not only that I love so much what I do, it just always reinforces that. But also, it’s just so interesting to me watching people be coached, I love it.

And I really believe that our level of coachability directly reflects our coaching skills. And let me explain before your feathers get ruffled. I know some of you are like, “Wait, what?” Because you’ve said it to me before, but just listen to me.

So I got to do that. And then I was in two days of my own mastermind with my coach, the $2 million mastermind for coaches who have made over 200K last year, or maybe 250K, I don’t know. I’ve made a lot more than that, I forget what the cutoff is but it doesn’t really matter.

It’s just really interesting to see the difference between the coaches that are in 200K, the coaches that are in 2 million. But basically what it means is I spent six or seven days just watching people be coached and doing my own coaching. And I want to share my takeaways on all about how to be coachable because I think that this is so important.

And I think that as a coach, no matter what it is that you’re in, whether it’s working with your one on one coach, whether it’s an a program, in a mastermind, there are ways to be coachable. And I realized over the six or seven days as I watched so many people be coached and I got the opportunity to coach a bunch of people, it’s very clear to me the thoughts that I choose that make me very coachable.

And when I say your coachability reflects your ability also to coach others, the reason I think that that’s true is because the more coachable you are – and I’ll tell you my definition of coachable in a minute. But the more coachable you are, the easier it is for you to see and to understand when a client isn’t being coachable and why. And what you have to do with it, and how you can help them, and how you can teach them.

I do think a lot of what I do in my mastermind, there is a portion of it that I spend, I don’t necessarily teach on this, although I’m thinking maybe I should. But there is a portion of it that I always spend kind of teaching my clients to be coachable. And no matter what type of coach you are, this is true for you too.

Sometimes some of you come with like, “But my clients are doing this, and my clients are doing this.” And sometimes my question to you is just like, “Have you taught them the skill of being coachable?” It is a learned skill.

So I compiled a list of just over my noticings of the last 10 days, however many days, on people being coachable and not coachable. And what does that look like? Why do I think it’s important? And then also what doesn’t it look like?

So, just going to go through my list. I’m going to share with you, I also got some feedback from some of my colleagues, including Maggie Reyes and Danielle Savory, and Lindsey Mango and a few others. Kristen Boss and Samantha Siffring. And we had a conversation about like what does it look like to be coachable? Here are some of the things we came up with.

The first thing is, this seems obvious, come with something to be coached on. Now, you know I’ve talked about this before, right? Where it’s like, what do we do when our clients come with nothing to be coached on? It’s not always a problem, especially if you’re doing one on one coaching, you have calls every week, and you can just really tailor the things to them.

But I want you to think about this, I am in a group that only meets four times a year. That’s all. That is all I get, four times a year of coaching. Now, I have been coaching with the same person in my business for a very long time. So I have become very coachable to her, she knows how to coach me. Four times a year really is all I need. And of course, there’s a group in between where I can get feedback in there.

But the really deep, good coaching, that comes four times a year. If I show up to the meeting with nothing to be coached on, how much value am I going to get out of that? Not a ton, probably. I mean, I’ll still get some because for sure, she’s going to coach me on why do I have nothing to coach on or why am I not prepared. But it’s just interesting to think about.

So always come with something to be coached on, especially when it’s a format that’s you know specifically what the meeting is for. If your clients aren’t coming with things to be coached on, this is something you can teach them.

This is something that you can just teach in the beginning, like, “Hey, here’s how this is going to work. Every week before the call I want you to spend 10 minutes thinking about what do you want to be coached on today.” Something like that.

The second thing, be open to being wrong. And here’s what I mean by that, be open to the thing that you think you need coaching on, maybe isn’t the thing. You wouldn’t believe how many times I saw over the last 10 days someone thinking, “Oh, I need coaching on this very specific thing.” And then, of course, the coaching that they really need is totally different.

Now, what I mean by this is when you think that there’s something specific you need, especially if it’s actions, like, “I need someone to advise me on Facebook ads. I need someone to tell me how to hire someone.”

When it’s something very specific a lot of times the more important piece is what are the thoughts behind all of the things. You can find someone to show you how to do Facebook ads, that’s not a problem. You can Google, “What’s the best way to hire a team?” “What’s the best way to find an assistant?”

If you can use Google for it, probably what not what you need coaching on. The same is true for my clients, when they come to the mastermind to get coaching sometimes they’ll want coaching, for example, on like, “How do I handle this exact thing with this exact client?” And they just want me to tell them the how.

A lot of times what happens first is I direct them back – We might talk about the how. But first I direct them back to what are their thoughts? What are their thoughts during the session? What are their thoughts about the client? Why do they think the client is behaving this way? Is asking this thing? Is blah, blah, blah, fill in the blank.

Come with something to be coached on and be open to being wrong. Or just open to hearing coaching that you didn’t know you needed. The third one, which I think is so important, believe your coach is on your side.

It always blows my mind when I see people be coached and I can tell their thought is, “She’s not on my side,” or “she doesn’t understand me.” Or some version of this isn’t going like I think it should.

Of course your coach is on your side, especially if you have paid your coach money. And think about this for you, you know, if you’re working with a coach, or clients that come to you. If they have paid you money, of course you’re on their side. You want them to get results. Your coach also wants you to get results.

Not only do they want you to get results, but they want them to be the best results, as fast as possible, and exactly what you want. That is true about your coach. Now, as a coach, I want you to think about this for a second, if that ever isn’t true with your clients, that is something to really stop and think about.

When you think about all your clients your thought should be, “I am on their side. I am here for them. I want them to get all the results that they want. I am cheering them on. I’m willing to say the hard thing.” Whatever it is.

Next one, number four, don’t be in a hurry. Now, some of you, I know, I know this because a lot of coaches come to me because they need to calm their brain down a lot because they’re just in a hurry. A lot of my clients show up this way and there’s just never a reason to be in a hurry.

And the reason you think that you’re in a hurry, or the way that it shows up, you probably aren’t thinking that you are in a hurry. But it’s a very needy energy of like, “I need this coaching right now so that I can move on quickly. I don’t care about my thoughts, just tell me the actions, I just want to go.”

But what happens is when you’re in a hurry, you don’t get the learning you need. And then you have to keep getting it over and over and over. Nobody wants that, that’s not fun. Now it’s okay if you need coaching over and over on the same thing. Sometimes it is like I’m really processing this, I’m really working through it. I’ve talked about that on here before on this podcast.

But in general, coming with the energy of like, “Just tell me what I need, just tell me what to do so I can move on.” It’s just never useful. It really keeps you out of learning things on a deep, deep level. It keeps it all very surface, all very like, “Okay, I hear you. Let me go take all the actions, and then I’ll come back and tell you how they didn’t work.” That’s no good. Don’t do that.

Linked to this is the next thing, is just notice when you only want the how. So when you come to your coach for something that you think, “I just need you to tell me how to do this. I just need you to tell me how to do Facebook ads.” For example, I saw a lot of coaching on Facebook ads, including my own over the last 10 days, so that’s just on my mind. But it’s like I just want you to tell me the how, it’s the same thing as kind of being in a hurry.

It’s fine to ask the how, of course, right? And to present like, “This is what I think I need coaching on.” But when your coach wants to take a moment and redirect and examine your thoughts. And look at other things of like, what else is going on under the surface that is unexamined, this isn’t your coach being difficult.

This is your coach like, “Let’s examine all these things before you go, for example, spend a bunch of money on the ads. Because I don’t want you to spend all the money on the ads with these terrible thoughts. Or being in a hurry, or thinking it’s not going to work anyway. Or whatever those thoughts are that are underneath that we just need to examine before we move on.

One way to know when you just want the how or to know when you’re in that kind of like how energy is if you get coached and then you think, “I wonder if that wasn’t the right coaching.” Or “I wonder what everyone else thought about my coaching.” Or “What would so and so tell me to do about this? Would she have the same answer? Would he have the same answer?”

And then you just spend a lot of time getting maybe other people’s opinions or feedback instead of just really sitting with your coaching. Which is the next thing, be willing to sit with the coaching. Be willing to hear it, not fully understand it, not fully maybe even agree with it, and just let it sink in. Just give it some time.

It was so fun in the $2 million room, which is you know, my colleagues making quite a bit of money some already in the millions this year, which crazy, right? So fun. But it was so fun to sometimes hear them get coaching that we all were like, “Oh man.” You know, we could tell emotions are coming up.

And they were willing to say, “Okay, I hear you. And I just need to sit with this for a little bit.” And then come back the next day and say, “Okay, here, I sat with it. Here’s what came up.” That is being very coachable as opposed to just, “No, I don’t like it.”

Now, what this doesn’t mean is just following a coach or anyone blindly, right? I’m not saying don’t ever question coaching, don’t ever have thoughts about it. That’s not at all what I’m saying.

But what I am saying is just be willing to sit with it and consider what if this is the coaching I needed? What if it’s the only coaching I needed? What if it’s the exact coaching I needed? You might come back and say like, “Actually I don’t think it is.” But that’s usually not the case.

Usually in the moment if you feel very kind of activated by coaching that you receive and you feel very like, “This is not what I needed. I don’t like this, I don’t want this.” Being willing to sit with it and question How could this be the exact coaching I needed is so useful. So useful.

Okay, next thing, be willing to hear coaching the other people get and ask how is this for me too? I think that is one of the highest values of a room with people who have been coaching, had coaching for a while, and who are highly coachable is that we would go through the first couple people and by the time we would get to like the fourth one, that fourth person, fifth person who –

I think I was maybe fourth to go in my room and I knew, oh, I already have half of the coaching that I needed because I heard other people ask questions. And I thought, “Oh, I have that exact same thing. Let me really listen to what’s the coaching that this person is going to get.

So it helps me get more and more clear. And by the time it was my turn I was already half coached up. And it was like, “Okay, here’s what I’m taking away so far. Now, here’s the other thing I need coaching on, here are my questions.”

And then, as the rest of the room got coached, I continued to listen. And I continued to apply their coaching. Now, sometimes, I see this in my mastermind, where people say like, “Yeah, but that exact thing doesn’t apply to me. My business isn’t like that.” Or I don’t do that, or some version of that.

That’s never true. Because even if the circumstance isn’t exactly the same, you can hear just the way someone is getting coached and have a takeaway from it. Or like, “Oh, I’ve had that thought before.” Or “Oh, I do have that thought now and I didn’t even know it.”

It’s just a noticing and a willingness to be open. I think openness when we were going through this list of how to really be coachable, openness, is the number one thing that kept coming up for all of us.

And the last one, I think this is so important, I think it is one of the things that has created so many results for me, for myself in my business. Over the years that I have been a client, and that I have been in masterminds, I always have the thought, everyone here is crossing the finish line. Their results are as important as mine.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I necessarily spend more time thinking about other people than I do my own. But it does mean that I do think about other people’s results.

And the why of that, like the why do I do that is because sometimes thinking about them getting results, since we’re all in the room working on the same thing. The same general thing, we’re all there to make money, we’re all there to grow our business. Sometimes getting out of my brain and thinking about their thing helps me get the coaching I need and helps it feel more clear because it’s not my own drama.

I have noticed that the more open I am to grabbing my colleague’s hands and saying like you’re coming with me, we’re all crossing this line together, the better and better and better my results are. Instead of being in my drama in my head, feeling sorry for myself, like whatever it is, however it shows up, just like me, me, me. Which is easy to do when you’re in high drama.

But one way to get out of the high drama is to really look around and say, “Who needs my help here?” And it makes it way more fun, truly. When you can really be as excited for other people’s results as you are for your own, it makes the whole experience more fun.

Another thought that I personally always have about any room I’m in, any mastermind I’m in, I shared this with some of my colleagues and I think it kind of blew their mind. Last week, we were all sitting and talking and I said, “My thought about this is I would pay this money even if the leader, like the coach who’s leading all of it, wasn’t here. I would pay the money just to be in the room with all of you.”

And they all looked at me like, “Wait, what?” And some of them agreed. And most of them agreed I think overall. But for some of them you could tell it was just something they hadn’t thought before. And I just think it’s such a fun thought.

If you’re in a mastermind or if you’re in any type of group coaching situation, what if your colleagues – No matter what it is, I don’t care even if you’re like, “Yeah, but I’m not in a room where we’re trying to make money.” That does not matter at all. This is truly for any situation.

What if the other people in the room with you are equally as valuable as the person leading it, as everyone else? Really just being in a room with a bunch of people all working towards the same result, just that alone is so powerful if you believe it is.

You could definitely be in the room and be like, “I don’t know, I’m not really sure what the value is here.” But do you know what you think? Do you know what happens when you think that? You miss all of the value. Because I am so willing to believe that the room is just as valuable no matter what, then to me it’s like the really amazing coaching I get from my coach is like the cherry on top. It’s like bonus.

I’m never thinking, “What is she going to do for me? What is the coaching that’s going to give me the value? I decide ahead of time always, this is valuable. This is the most valuable room I can be in.”

And I want to be clear that I decide that in every room, not just this specific room. Every room I’m in, that is my thought. That one is just a bonus, but I hope that you adopt it because I promise you it’s so fun when you do.

I love you guys, I am so glad you’re here today. I hope this was really helpful. So go out there, be coachable, consider that all of these things I’m saying, consider that they’re true. And that you can adopt all of these thoughts. And you can teach them to your clients. Go do both of those things. Let me know how it goes.

All right. See you next week. Bye.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Mastering Coaching Skills. If you want to learn more about my work, come visit me at That’s Lindsay with an A, see you next week.


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