Coaching is more than a paid friendship.
Every time I hear someone say that coaching is a bogus profession, equivalent to paying someone to be your friend, I want to spit. Not very coach-like I know, but I only said I wanted to spit, not that I actually do.
The truth is it’s harder to be a coach than a friend. While both might share a burning desire to help you, a coach must do this without judgment, opinion or advice. That means no listening while you babble on blaming the universe and your parents for all your life’s ills or rushing in to save the day, fix all your problems, take your side and threaten to beat up those who have betrayed or hurt you.
Instead coaches do the near impossible. They patiently support to find you own way to work out the challenge or situation that’s keeping you up at night. They listen. Really listen. Long and hard until you hear the wisdom of your own words, and believe the truth of your own responses.
Here’s 5 Reasons Why Your BFF Stinks at Coaching (even if their hearts are in the right place).
They’re not really listening.
More than likely while you’re talking they’re thinking about what to say to make you feel better. They mean well but a coach gives you the rare opportunity to think through situations for yourself, providing complete objectivity, undivided attention and unparalleled support.
They ask all the wrong questions.
They ask whiney ‘why, why, why’ questions, leading questions that have obvious answers, questions that placate, or step too lightly around the hard-to-hear-truth. Your coach, on the other hand, will ask the tough questions. Pointing out inconsistencies in what you say and what you do. Bringing up the unpopular idea, belief, or thought that has you so stressed you hair is slowly growing gray. They fully challenge you, test your perceptions and stretch you towards real, long lasting breakthroughs that gets you off the sulk sofa.
They can’t motivate you.
Just because your friends can get you all fired up, doesn’t mean you’ll actually do anything with all those flames. The definition of motivate is to give someone a motive to do something. And neither your friends nor a coach can do this. But what a coach can do better than you BFF is be a powerful influencer, which actually makes you want to take action.
They don’t have all the answers.
Friends give us plenty of how-to advice such as, “Here’s what I’d do if I were you…” But they are not you. You are YOU. And in coaching, YOU are in charge of you, you are the expert on you and what you need, want and just gotta have. A coach is not trying to grab the wheel from you and steer you down the road they think is the best for you. They’re sitting in the passenger seat acting your life’s GPS (always going where you want to go even if when the road is dark, long and winding).
You can’t fire them.
Friends are an important part of our life. They’re fun, supportive, understanding and difficult to let go of. After all we love them. Unlike your friends, coaches can be easily hired and fired. They understand that rapport and trust is essential and without it the coaching will not serve you (or the coach). And the coach won’t cry, stalk you or send you guilt-inducing texts.
Coaches and your friends both have big hearts. Coaches however are professionals trained to make a big difference in the lives of others. Unlike your friends, they spend their days learning about the art and science of supporting people. They are constantly soaking in as much information as they possibly can – reading, attending tons of events, webinars and seminars focused on potentializing their clients.
But don’t worry BFFs – we still need you. Along with our coach, you make the impossible possible!
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