What Does It Take to Be Coached?

Unsplash | Photo by Priscilla Dupreez 

As it does in the world of athletics, coaching can help you achieve higher performance and greater personal satisfaction in your personal and professional life. You may desire to make changes–in mindset, behavior, or both—to make advances in your life. Coaching requires you to be prepared to be fully engaged in the process to harvest its benefits.

Coaching takes time and commitment, so before deciding to work with a coach, assess your readiness by asking yourself: Am I ready to be coached? This will ensure you benefit and grow from the co-creative experience.

If you are willing to hold yourself accountable to make progress in your life and are open to new behaviors and ways of thinking, you may be ready. If you are open to practicing the discipline necessary to achieve your coaching goals, you may be ready. If you are ready to have a self-focused, honest conversation with your coach about the characteristics and conditions challenging you from taking steps, you may be ready. If you desire to create, experience, and live the goals you’ve dreamed of or are drawn to, you may be ready to be coached.

Will there be moments of excitement and some anxiety in coaching? Absolutely. What you will discover between these two states is the ideas and momentum for personal development. 

What does coaching require of you?


To be open is to take risks and experiment with new thoughts and behaviors that may not work the first time you apply them, but waiting until you “feel ready” can stand in the way of progress. Coaching explores the answers you already have, delves into new ones, and looks at why you may be unwilling or unable to explore new options. A coaching relationship requires you to be open to doing the necessary reflection to create change.


Diving into yourself through a coaching relationship requires you to be proactive in embracing new ways of perceiving and acting. This may bring about fear or emotional blockage when new realizations and realities arise for you. While these moments may bring up moments of discomfort, it will take endurance to experience the rewards of diving deep and making new and different approaches to reach your goals.


To gain the best results in coaching, self-reflection provides you the opportunity to be intentional, conscious, and objective when examining one’s self and life. Taking the time to self-examine allows you to critically look at areas for improvement, recognition, and development. In reflection, you have the opportunity to consider what works or doesn’t (or didn’t) work for you and decide what you could have done differently so that you clear the way for future growth.


While a coach is there to keep you focused on your goals, hold you accountable for the steps you’ve identified to meet your goals, and guide you through areas of resistance, the coaching relationship is about you taking full responsibility for your life and your actions.

You, as the client, are ultimately responsible for creating your own decisions and results. You set the agenda while the coach helps you navigate.


Coaching works best when you are self-disciplined and can organize your entire being and life in pursuit of your meaningful goals. Self-discipline asks that you focus on your own best interests, despite life’s distractions and temptations, and it requires you to let go of ways of thinking and behaving that have helped or hindered you in the past.

Your self-discipline may also be hard for others to accept as you create changes in your personal or work relationships, but disciplining yourself to say no and learning to focus on what’s important to you are essential parts of becoming the person you want to be and living the meaningful life you desire.

Personal growth, success, and focus lead to living a purpose-driven life, and it all takes discipline.


Accountability is the act of being willing to accept responsibility for your actions…or inactions. Disappointment and failure are experienced when you don’t hold yourself accountable for your goals or are unclear about what your goals are and the actions you need to take. While it’s easy to get stuck and cling to your comfort zone, you won’t find the growth you desire unless you hold yourself accountable for breaking through your limitations and the beliefs that hold you back.

By creating a solid step-by-step action map and holding yourself accountable for achieving


Last but not least is the need for support as you make those changes to achieve your goals. Outside the coaching relationship, you’ll need other supporters who will help you develop faster by sharing your goals, asking for advice, and actively listening with openness and curiosity as they provide constructive feedback that you can incorporate and act on. Who are the cheerleaders in your life? Invite them in.

Are you ready to be coached?

DEBORAH BLAKE DEMPSEY, MS is the CEO & Founder of Human Being Human, LLC. Deborah is a Life Strategist & Transformational Coach, Writer, and Speaker. She is the author of The Hoppernots, an uplifting, can-do story about amphibians and other forest dwellers coming together to defeat a common enemy and is told within a diverse ecosystem teeming with life and purpose. Her mission is to engage healthcare and corporate leaders at all levels to fulfill their greatness in their professional and personal lives by helping them understand their motivational drivers, define their purpose, find their voice, and develop their potential. She brings to her coaching more than 25 years of experience as a healthcare leader, having held strategic, financial, and operational leadership roles in physician practices, academic hospitals, and for-profit healthcare settings. Deborah is particularly interested in working with leaders struggling with self-confidence, professional identity, and facing burnout.

She holds a BA in Social Psychology and an MS in Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University.