Are you coachable?
Unless you are just training a dog, 90% of what we do is train people to work their dogs. If that’s true, then dog owners and handlers need to know they are the key to their dog’s success. There’s no secret sauce. Knowledge, Patience, and remembering Practice makes PROGRESS not perfect.
At the center of that success is one simple question; Are you coachable?
Coachability refers to a student's attitude. A coachable student is one who openly and humbly listens to honest feedback and willingly applies that feedback to improve.
Coachability comes down to being open and receptive to training.
As a student/handler Ask yourself; If you know everything, then why are you in training? If your past trainers were so good, why did you leave them? I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard the; “Well my old trainer did things like this…” That’s important information for sure however, you need to open your aperture and realize you’re with a new trainer.
From coming in with genuine problems they can't fix to training for specific tasks, most owners generally want to do work. They want the best for their dog and for themselves.
However, there is a group of people that come to training with barriers to learning. Past experiences and successes get in the way new learning. I get it. Adult learners come ready made with basic things to unpack. Adult learning is referred to as Andragogy.
Andragogy makes the following assumptions about the design of learning: (1) Adults need to know why they need to learn something (2) Adults need to learn experientially, (3) Adults approach learning as problem-solving, and (4) Adults learn best when the topic is of immediate value. This is summed up as "What's in it For Me!?" (WIIFM)
As trainers, we need to focus on teaching training and proofing this. Owning that we need to “SELL” our students on what we're doing, they owe us to be coachable and invested.
Students/Owners/Handlers need to open their minds and listen to the trainer in front of them. When you pay for training, you are paying for the experience of the trainer. If you can’t learn anything from them, then why waste your time and theirs?