Thursday, 2 October 2008

What is the difference between a coach and a good friend?

Some people wonder how having a coach is different from having a friend and perhaps you are one of those people. You might think I have lots of good friends and a partner surely I can talk to them. Of course you can talk to people yoou know and there are some similarities between a coach and a friend. A coach needs to be someone with whom you have rapport. If the rapport is not there then you will not trust them and will consciously or unconsciously hold back what really needs to be said. There, however the similarity ends.

A coach's role is to work with a person's essence. So if you are the client then the coach uses tools to see who you can really be and to help that shine through as so often it is hidden. One of the ways of doing that is to really engage with you so that the underlying issues/ feelings are heard and brought out onto the table. Listening is a key skill in all this and what this means is focusing one's whole attention onto the client rather than thinking what shall I say next. In this way a coach is in service of their client. Also a degree of anonymity helps this process, as friends may see you as a particular kind of person and hold you in that space rather than seeing all of who you can be.

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