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Friend vs. coach

Recently, I was coaching one of my good friends. After a few coaching sessions together, she said to me, “Now I totally see the difference between a coach and a friend. The things you say to me as a friend, you’d never say to me as my coach. As a friend, you empathize. As a coach, you push me to view things differently.”

A coach will tell you what you need to know to grow, not what you want to hear.

Having good friends is invaluable. You want someone who is “on your side,” can commiserate, listen to you vent, and everything in between.

Having a coach is transformative. With a coach, you learn to step into the best version of yourself.

You learn how to manage your mind and create the results you want to have in your life. A coach pushes you to places and perspectives that you would have never explored otherwise.

Here’s a real-life example:

My friend calls me up and says, “My aunt isn’t treating me right. She invites my cousins over, and never invites me. I feel like she doesn’t like me and treats me coldly.”

My answer as a friend: “Oy, that’s so hard. I know what it’s like to feel like someone doesn’t like you. So sorry you’re going through that. It’s so not right. Would you want to talk to her about it?”

My answer as a coach: “What are you making it mean, that you’re not invited? Let’s separate the facts of the situation from the drama … What kind of person do you want to be as you navigate this situation?”

See the difference? One answer keeps you where you are (which your brain truly loves—to stay comfortable and the same), and the other moves you someplace new, with new skills to navigate similar situations with confidence.


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