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    According to research, the number one reason people fail in life is that they are too defensive, meaning self-justifying, resistive to feedback.

    And conversely, the number one trait that you'll always see in successful, popular people is open-mindedness, friendliness, a willingness to learn.

    This is a very important thing to understand if you're going to coach people.

    Coaching isn't cheerleading, and it isn't flattery. It's giving useful feedback, sharing ideas to help make things better, and some people are naturally open to feedback, others aren't.

    So I've spent a lot of time wondering: why is it that some people fight feedback, and have to learn everything the hard way? And why are they so self-justifying? And proud of being that way?

    It may have something to do with the person being unable to form trusting relationships. Some people have a hard time trusting themselves or anyone else. They never really learned how. They grew up thinking it wasn't safe to appear weak or confused, or to have to rely on someone.

    In my line of work, I need to know how coachable someone is going to be. After all, the success of our work is going to depend on it. One question I sometimes ask: "Do you feel that you have good friends? People you depend on? People who get to see your vulnerable side?"

    Another question: "Can you take feedback? Are you open to criticism? Or do you spend a lot of time blaming other people or justifying yourself?"

    Another question: "Do you feel as though you've had to do everything yourself? Do things come to you, but only the hard way?"

    Another question, "Have you ever had a mentor? Someone who took the time to show you how to do things the easy way?"


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