Is coaching a friend possible?
- Jan 24th 2023
After entering the coaching world, one would agree that you consciously train yourself in active listening. In society, being a person who is a good listener definitely helps, especially in our relations with others, whether we are partners, friends, or a parent. At our work, we are professional Coaches but when we come home do we draw the line? Or subconsciously we are still coaching?
I wondered why we can’t use our acquired skills to help our friends.
According to the updated ICF core competency model B.4 –
A coach partners with the client to create a safe, supportive environment that allows the client to share his thoughts freely and maintain a relationship of mutual respect and trust. The relationship is already established, so the process of coaching a friend should be easier. To my surprise, I realized that coaching a friend is far more difficult than any other client! Of course, ICF ethical code helped to establish it as well.
According to Section 1.8, A coach must remain alert to indications that there might be a shift in the value received from the coaching relationship. If so, make a change in the relationship or encourage the Client(s) / Sponsor(s) to seek another coach, seek another professional or use a different resource.
And also Section 3.24 says, Do not participate in any sexual or romantic engagement with Client(s) or Sponsor(s). I will be mindful of the intimacy level appropriate for the relationship. I take the appropriate action to address the issue or cancel the engagement.
Understand the difference between a Friend and a Coach:
With a friend you talk, relate, and share openly, there is mutual trust, and sometimes you receive advice from them as an outcome.
ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity, and leadership.
In a friendship, your friend knows a lot about you and they have a perception of you.
A Coach takes you as you are at present and is interested in the future you desire without judgments of the past.
At times it is important to understand how is your relationship with a friend. Whether it is a friend or an acquaintance? Because I do see an acquaintance as a client. It still can get tricky if you both have a lot of mutual stakeholders.
Also asking certain following self-reflective can help for clarity:
How important this friendship is for us?
Can we be completely neutral as a coach?
Can we be objective and not biased toward our friend in a session?
How the coaching journey with our friend would impact the friendship?
Do you think your friend would not bring up your talks from a coaching session into a regular coffee with-friend time?
And most importantly will you be comfortable playing this dual role of being a friend and a coach?
Author Name: Shaik Afsha
Title of the Blog: Is Coaching a friend possible?
Program Attended with CTT: Coach Certification program level 1
Reason for taking this program: Want to pursue Coaching as a career
What worked for you: live peer coaching sessions and observing the PCC markers
What benefits you got: Self-awareness on the subject.