People ask me why they would want to hire a business coach when their best friend will give them advice for free? I like to explain that a coach isn’t a therapist, a mentor, or a friend. While you do want to choose a coach you can trust and someone with whom you feel rapport, a business coach is not your buddy. A competent coach is someone who:
- has a toolbox of techniques to help you create a vision for your future.
- is willing to actively assist you in anticipating barriers.
- holds you responsible for creating your own solutions.
- Won’t Judge You. Even if your best friend wouldn’t judge you, many people struggle to be totally transparent in personal relationships because they worry what other people might think. With a coach, it isn’t an issue.Your coach is a professional whose job it is to be open to all of the possibilities that resonate with you. There are no crazy ideas when you are working with a coach. No right or wrong. Your coach will give you tools to test the ideas, but you don’t have to worry that someone might shut down an idea before it has been fleshed out.
Has Professional Insight. You can be almost guaranteed that your best friend has an opinion on what you should do. The real question is, “Do they have the expertise that suggests you should do what they say?” An engaged coach will be up to date on problem solving techniques. They will offer fresh perspectives on situations and help you look at issues from new vantage points. Seasoned coaches have the experience in seeing business challenges play out, so their viewpoint is often one that comes from previous application, not an emotional reaction.
- Will Hold You Accountable. Friends can be great when you need to vent or blow off some steam. A coach, however, will help you turn that venting session into a productive outlet that creates a path for positive change. Effective coaches provide challenges for their clients and hold them accountable for creating new habits. Your coach should agree to help you reach your desired outcomes which mean they will tell you what you need to hear even if it isn’t what you want to hear.
There is no doubt about it- a business coach requires a bigger investment than a drink at happy hour with your BFF. However, if you are looking to make lasting changes and experience real growth, you probably shouldn’t call a buddy. If you want to learn how to overcome business challenges, master new skills, or create a plan for your future, your best friend may not be the best choice. When you choose a professional coach who combines empathy and insight with a drive to help you meet your goals, your possibilities are endless.