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Friday, July 17, 2015

How Coachable Are You?

Feature Article

How Coachable Are You?
by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.

I’ve been reviewing notes from a coaching class I took recently. Several people involved in the class make a million dollars a year or more just from doing one-on-one coaching. One of the things these coaches do is to offer a free one-hour coaching session and 90% of those people then become clients. The 10% rejection rate are the people these coaches absolutely do not want to coach — the people who don’t seem coachable.

So what is coaching all about? Well the essence of coaching is to help you self-actualize and achieve self-mastery — the subject of my article a few weeks back. Primarily, coaching is done through skilled questioning (i.e., based upon the belief that you have all the resources you need inside) and moves you toward possibilities. People who have attended my workshops may notice that I usually answer questions from students with a question. The following diagram shows what happens as you move from problem to possibility and from direct intervention (here is a problem — let’s fix it) to indirect (you find the resources to get what you want through questions).
The following table should give you some clues as to how ready you are for self-actualization. Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 on each item.
How Coachable Are You?
Self-Rating Score (0-10)
How open are you to change? (versus: I am really comfortable where I am and dislike extensive change.)
Open = high number
How open are you to feedback? (Do you get discouraged if some tells you what you need to do to improve? Could this stop you in your tracks?)
Open to feedback = high number
What is your level of ego strength (vs ego defenses)? 
A high number means your sense of self-worth is typically always strong. See # 6 below.
Can you look at your own issues and be excited about facing them? This means you are not likely to run away if a major issue comes up. Instead, you are willing to face it?
Excited about discovering a new issue = high number
How committed are you to your own development?
Strongly committed = high number
Can you be vulnerable? (this is related to #3) 
Open to digging and reveal what’s going on = high number
How hungry are you for change and transformation? 
Hungry for this = high number
Do you have goals, hopes and dreams?
Big dreams = high score
Do you have the patience to stay with something to develop it, refine it, and master it?
Patience to stick to it = high score
How committed are you to excellence as opposed to just getting by? For example, you would do a self-exploration to get everything possible out of it rather than just get through it.
Committed to excellence = high score
Are you organized?
Good at organization = high score
Are you disciplined? Can you schedule time each day for self-development so that you see major changes each week?
Strong discipline = high score
TOTAL RATING, with max being 120 and the minimum being 0.
If you have a total score of at least 60, you are probably coachable.
So the ultimate form of self-actualization is when you take charge of your own life and find the resources to get what you want. When that happens, you can just have an intention for something and get it. Now sometimes, different methods of support are required for helping people self-actualize. Various situations require one or more of the following kinds of support: therapy (help getting through particular existing issues), training (help learning new knowledge or new skills); consulting (finding your own resources through questioning for solving existing problems); and coaching (finding your own resources through questioning to achieve whatever new possibilities you desire).

At The Van Tharp Institute we provide all four kinds of support in some way or another, however, we believe the ultimate method for personal transformation is through great coaching. Coaching can take more than one form. We typically don’t do traditional one-on-one coaching at the Van Tharp Institute, but the coaching approach is built into the Peak Performance Home Study course, our various Peak Performance workshops, and, of course, it’s a major part of the Super Trader Program.

About the Author: Trading coach and author Van K. Tharp, Ph.D. is widely recognized for his best-selling books and outstanding Peak Performance Home Study Program—a highly regarded classic that is suitable for all levels of traders and investors. You can learn more about Van Tharp at His new book, Trading Beyond The Matrix, is available now at 

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