To be a great coach and to be a great coachee requires a unique mindset and way of thinking. Organizations benefit when they educate their coaches and the employees being coached on the importance of the three paths that use feedback in the right way. Both the coach and the coachee benefits when all three paths are taken (rather than just one or two of them):

1. Taking Responsibility for Feedback—At the end of the day, organizations can coach all they want, but if the employee does not take responsibility for his own learning, the coaching will be a wasted resource. Douglas Stone and Shelia Heen discovered in their research on how best to use feedback that, “The key player is not the giver, but the receiver.”

2. Demanding Feedback through Growth Mindset—Employees and their coaches need to have a growth mindset—those people who have this mindset see effort, coaching, feedback, and learning goals as the path to mastery. The incredible work by Carol Dweck on fixed and growth mindset, shows that only employees and coaches with a growth mindset will be able to get the most out of coaching.

3. Receiving Feedback Well—The coachee must be able to use and receive feedback in the right way. If employees know how to receive feedback and how to use it to develop their skills, then coaching is much more likely to stick.