This post is part of a series on the 9 competencies of an effective coach, taken originally from Developing Coaching Excellence. To see all entries in this series posted so far, you can search “coach competency” on the main page of my blog. 

Coach competency 2 Self-AssessingJesus said, “First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Coaches need to be people who are willing to engage in personal reflection— understanding their strengths, their weaknesses, the ways they can keep growing. Self-assessment means knowing oneself well and continually pursuing self-development and increased competency. Effective coaching comes out of that kind of experience, hard work, and continual self-assessing.

One of the best ways for coaches to grow is to actively seek feedback from those they are coaching. Most people who are receiving coaching will be unwilling to point out a coach’s blind spots unless that coach explicitly invites such feedback. Coaches who don’t engage in self-assessment end up disappointing both themselves and others. And when the coaching relationship falls apart or gets stuck, they don’t understand what happened.

Mary provides an example of what a coach who is strong in self-assessing looks like. Once involved in a coaching relationship, she actively invites feedback from those she coaches. She also does regular self-assessment, and when she spots an area of weakness, she talks to her coach about it. She allows him to speak into her situation, giving him permission to point out things she doesn’t see.

One recent weakness she dealt with was a lack of patience. Her coach’s concern was that she moved ahead too quickly without building a relational base. She and her coach sat down together and made a plan: a one-on-one visit with each leader she was coaching, either face-to-face or by phone. This visit would be filled with asking these leaders about their goals and dreams, any concerns  about their relationship with Mary, their vision for their personal assignment, their relationship with their district supervisor, their feelings about how empowered they are in their role, etc. This approach allowed her to get to know the leaders she was coaching better and enabled her to slow down and be more patient as she worked with them.

How can you go about strengthening the coaching competency of self-assessment in your life?