I have a direct report who is very difficult to coach. Any feedback that is not 100% complimentary or positive is met with a very defensive posture, almost "aggressively defensive" if there is such a thing....
He seems to be extremely sensitive, and perhaps rooted in some deep seated insecurities, I'm not sure. It is very frustrating, as the response to positively worded constructive criticism is so defensive that it borders on disrespect, and it seems to convey the message that he feels he is always 100% right, never in the wrong, and here's a million reasons why.
I'm not expecting a "gee I really screwed up here", but I dont even get a hint of "well, perhaps with the benefit of hindsight, if I had made a slightest change there in 1 tiny area that may have had a positive influence on the outcome."
Local HR person is not very helpful except to point out that it is almost impossible to truly coach/mentor/develop someone who does not want to be coached, and I'm beginning to suspect she is right.
I feel that working with someone is more productive, if you can get them to see what they did wrong, then the drive to change comes from within. That does not seem to work with this person. They have been with the company for 10 years, and it seems nobody has challenged them before, which they bring up as proof of not needing to change now.