Who Needs a Coach When I Have Friends?

Boy, this is a topic I have been meaning to write about for a while!

Whether you have voiced it or not, I am betting a number of you think talking to your friends is just as good as hiring a coach.


I know you think this way, because I used to think this waythat was, until I hired a coach when I was launching AffirmingSpirit.

It’s NOT the same – at least, not when you hire a good coach!

Over the years, several of my clients have been truly surprised to find coaching much more helpful than just speaking to their friends. There’s some good reasons for this.

A FEW IMPORTANT WAYS THAT COACHES DIFFER FROM FRIENDS
You might be friendly with your coach, but your coach has a much different relationship to you than a friend. A coach is your partner in moving forward and their only agenda is your ultimate success. Coaches know how to advocate for your best interest, even if you haven’t been willing to do that for yourself. The same may not always be true of friends.

Regardless of what they say, friends have a vested interest in you staying exactly the same as you are right now. Don’t be surprised if your friends try to talk you out of taking a risk, or pursuing a dream. If you grow, that might throw off the balance in a friendship, so friends, by their nature, are there to support you *where you are* but their agenda is not always in your best interest.

Friends are more likely to agree with you when you complain. While it might feel good momentarily to have someone agreeing with you, it doesn’t help you grow and it keeps you stuck in victimhood. A good coach will hear where you are coming from but also won’t let you get stuck there. They will show you new perspectives,  challenge you to envision something bigger for yourself, and encourage you to use your pain as your fuel in following your dreams!

Coaches will help you go farther than friends alone. You will get open, honest and direct communication from a coach. Your friends might be afraid to tell you what they really think. People who hire coaches are not only more productive, but they also have the encouragement they need along the way. Friends can be encouraging, to a point. After that, you are usually on your own.

Friends get tired of being your sounding board. If your friends are starting to avoid you, or have suddenly become too busy to spend time with you…it might be a hint. Coaches are trained to distance themselves so they can be your best ally. It’s like having your own helicopter guide scoping out the terrain ahead of you en route to your dream and showing you all the best routes.

You might not want to discuss some topics, even with a very close friend. This is especially true if you are starting a business or making a big change in your life. At times like these, the confidential relationship between you and a coach is invaluable! Do you want your friends to know all the issues you struggle with or minute details of the business you are launching? Didn’t think so!

ENJOY FRIENDS, HIRE COACHES
Friends and coaches each have their place, and don’t get me wrong: Friends are great ~ I highly recommend them! I have a whole bunch of them, myself. I just don’t go to them for coaching. That keeps my friendships in a positive place where we can focus on having fun and light encouragement.

Coaching is most often time-limited. When you are done with the coaching process, you may still stay in touch with the coach and might even revisit coaching at a later time, but the coaching relationship ends until you are ready to move forward again. Let’s hope your friendships are not time-limited!

If you think talking to a friend will save you the cost of hiring a coach, consider how you value your friendships. Is it worth losing friends to get some occasional advice that might not serve you in the long run? It’s a much better investment to work with a coach for a set period of time, and leave the coaching out of your friendships.

I’d love to know what you think of this topic. Share your comments below…

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