Your coach is not your friend

troupe of baboons

People ask me, sometimes, what you get from coaching that you can’t get from a conversation with a friend. The short answer: your coach is not your friend. And that’s a good thing. Here’s the long version:

As a coach, I don’t care if you like me. Sure, we need a good rapport to work together, but my job is to help you grow in the way you want to grow. I will ask you painful questions. I will make uncomfortable observations. Your friend will do that – a little. But they want to maintain your friendship. They’re not going to push hard, because they want to stay friends. I will push hard. Because it’s my actual job.

There is no give and take in coaching. I’m not going to tell you about my day, or my life. If I mention my own experience, it will be brief and offer direct insight to your situation. Our coaching sessions are about you. Not me.

And, finally, structure. A coaching session has a process. It is not a friendly conversation. Coaching conversations don’t roam and ramble. They stick to the chosen topic and they go deep, not wide. It’s my responsibility to make sure of that.


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