March 19

Finally! A Solution for the: “Why Doesn’t He Do What I Ask?”


By John Geshey

There I was— meeting with a Department Head at one of my corporate client’s offices.  A seasoned Ph.D. in molecular biology (whatever that means), he is a high “D/C” with just enough tinge of “I” to painfully tolerate a conversation with yours truly.  I had just completed a Communications Workshop for his Analytical lab personnel (boy, did I have to work the props to engage that fun bunch…).

We were discussing a recent addition to his staff, a newly minted Ph.D. in biochemistry (again, no clue). This young team member was very smart and cordial with a quiet demeanor.  However, the Department Head shared that he was not completing assigned research tasks on time, noting several projects had gone virtually untouched.  Despite follow-up and reminders from his direct supervisor, who was frequently out of the office on customer trials, the new researcher still was not following through on even some of the most mundane research activities.

He asked me point blank, “John, is there an assessment tool out there someone could use to know, going in, how coachable an individual is?”   He went on, “If I had a tool like that, I could then determine whether an individual is a good fit for our department and the way in which we operate. At some point, we have to believe he/she can be coached and trained enough to understand the daily priorities and be able to function proficiently on their own without constant supervision.”

Well, at the time I merely shrugged and pointed to a few interconnecting “this-n-that’s” from sections of the Behaviors and Motivators reports I had run.  There actually were some legitimate “a-ha’s” in the guts of the reports, however nothing that coalesced around what the Department Head genuinely wanted to know from a rating perspective.  I had to admit to him that I was not aware of any such comprehensive tool that addresses that essential need for measuring an individual’s overall coachability.

Guess what?  Now there is such a tool!

Enter Dr. Coker with LifeThrive and his newest breakthrough assessment – The Coachability Index.  Dr. Coker’s assessment was borne from dissertations of over a dozen scholars from around the world who are dedicated masters studying employee performance. Having nothing to do with coachability in the sports industry, the baseline research data and conclusions from fellow PhDs all centered around individuals in roles in everyday life and business training events.

What sets Dr. Coker’s value proposition apart is his zeal for generating practical information that can be understood and where results can be acted upon.  The Coachability Index is constructed with algorithms that evaluate six distinct categories:  Humility, Motivation, Seeking Feedback, Feedback Receptivity, Response Motive, and Response to Feedback. The scores from each of those categories are weighted and combined to give the user an easily interpreted overall score or “Index”.

Knowing where an individual scores, compared to a population normed index, helps the manager/mentor/coach to quickly evaluate the coachability of an individual.  The report sections allow the manager to zero in on those areas and identify where an individual should get focused attention and guidance. It is quite possible to change a person’s Coachability Index, improve one’s score by reducing weaknesses in those identified areas.

I’m looking forward to my next visit with the Department Head. It will be gratifying to be able to share the Coachability Index assessment with him, and I know he’ll immediately blurt out orders to test his department of 50 ASAP- as a high D/C would. Thanks for making me look good, Dr. Coker!

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About the author 

John Geshey

John is a certified business and executive coach through FocalPoint Int'l. His passion is in helping professionals achieve their greatest potential and in maximizing team engagement. John utilizes what he calls his 22 years of corporate "scar tissue" to enhance his mentorship in leadership, strategy, and teambuilding.


Coachability, employee assessments, HR, Human Resources

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