Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Creating Exceptional Workplaces and Extraordinary Results
Roberta Matuson's Blog

Three Signs That Someone is Not Coachable

Not everyone is coachable.

Some of you may find it odd that a consultant, who provides executive coaching services, would be writing a piece that would discourage you from employing her services. That’s because I’m not just a consultant. I’m a business partner. The last thing I want to see is people throw good money into a bad investment.

Here are three signs that someone is not coachable.

They aren’t open to feedback. The term coachable means someone is willing to be corrected and act on that correction. The key word is willing. Lots of people talk about self-improvement. Yet they’re unwilling to listen to feedback. It’s difficult to help someone improve when they only want to hear what they want to hear. No, actually it’s impossible. Save your money.

They are in the wrong job. I’m sure New England Patriot’s quarterback Tom Brady has some exceptional coaches. Even if I was fortunate enough to be next in line for Brady’s job, there’s no way these people are going to get me to superstar level. If we’re being honest here, I’m not sure if they could even teach me how to play football. The team would be better off having me serve in a management role.

I’m frequently asked to coach people who never should have been placed in the job they’re in. However, many of these people soar when they are moved into a job that’s more suitable for their skill set and interest. If you have someone who you think may be in the wrong job, take the money you were going to spend for coaching and invest this in retooling them, so they can move into a position that is well suited for them.

You are more invested in their growth than they are. Look, you can’t help people who don’t want to be helped. If you find that you are more invested in helping your people grow than they are then it’s time to come back down to reality.

Coaching is a partnership. To be successful, both parties have to work in concert with one another. Be honest. Is the person you’re about to assign a coach all in or are they merely going through the motions? If it’s the latter, take the money you’ve allocated to this individual and give it to someone who is super excited to be given an opportunity to become the best version of themselves.

© Matuson Consulting, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Still not sure if your employee is coachable? Reach out to me at for a free 15-minute consultation to discuss whether or not your employee is coachable.


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