Skip to content

Heart health

Wanda Smith writes about the importance of being "coachable"
On the Front Porch by Wanda Smith

It is good to do some self-reflection from time to time and have a heart check-up.

I was impacted by the truth of Matthew 8 as I meditated on the Word this morning: “Everyone who hears my (Jesus’) teaching and applies it to his life can be compared to the wise man who built his house on an unshakeable foundation: when the rains fell and the flood came, with fierce winds beating upon his house, it stood firm because of its strong foundation. But everyone who hears my teaching and does not apply it to his life can be compared to a foolish man who built his house on sand. When it rained and rained and the flood came, with wind and waves beating upon his house, it collapsed and was swept away.” 

What impacted me most was the phrase: “But everyone who hears my teaching and does not apply it to his life...” It shook me. It is a strong word. It caused me to do a heart check.  

Do I apply to my life what Jesus has been teaching me? Because that is how I build a strong foundation. It is not simply by reading His Word or hearing His Word preached. It is about putting it into action. I think another word for this would be “coachable.”

Someone who is coachable, according to Webster’s dictionary is “capable of being easily taught or trained to do something better.” According to Laura D. Franco, “Being coachable is one of life's most important skills and attitudes. (It) means you're open to listening to feedback, able to receive constructive criticism without taking it personally, willing to take a look at your own performance in order to improve it, and generally a super-enthusiastic go-getter type of person.”

Anyone who is coachable will benefit from this attitude. This includes athletes (competitive or recreational), employees, and any type of instructors, coaches, children, speakers/ministers, employees, students, business owners, parents, and even coaches. When we submit ourselves under someone else’s leadership and training, we can only benefit from increasing our knowledge, our experience and our development. Laura suggests, “Being coachable - even if it makes you feel vulnerable - is the secret to achieving many or most of your dreams.”  

In being trainable, one shows humility, openness, vulnerability and willingness. This does not make one “less of a person”; in fact, it shows true strength of character to be willing to be taught by someone else who may know something we do not know. It is a true sign of humility to adjust and change mindsets and be mouldable to new ways of thinking and being.

Have you ever worked or lived with someone who knows it all...always thinking they're right, negative, pessimistic, not open to change, disrespectful, generally unwilling to learn grow or do what it takes to improve? This kind of person is neither easy to live with nor work with. No one wants to be around this type of person. A person who is coachable will benefit and grow, cultivating growth and developing an atmosphere around them that is upbeat, caring and full of inspiration. That’s the kind of person I want to be!

Joseph Folkman suggests five ways we can become more coachable: 1. Ask for feedback. 2. Ensure you understand the feedback. 3. Thank the giver of feedback and confirm your desire for more. 4. Request suggestions on how to improve. 5. Welcome tough or unexpected feedback.

As we hear and apply this teaching, we will develop a firm foundation, ready for whatever comes our way.