I recently had a friend ask me how to approach a friend or family member and suggest that coaching would be a good idea for them. My friend was worried that she would offend someone by suggesting something was wrong with them or that they would misunderstand her as telling them they need help instead of simply thinking they could do even better than they were. She was excited about the things coaching was doing for her and wanted other people in her life to have the same results. I can see how this could go wrong in any number of ways.
I think there’s a stigma around asking for help or admitting that we aren’t perfect and can’t figure out every problem on our own. I also think it’s hard to know who to trust with difficult or very personal information. Other people might get the wrong impression, thinking that you are having bigger problems than you are or your business isn’t doing well if you tell them you are using a coach. It occurs to me that the process of hiring a coach and going through the coaching process is a little mysterious to someone who has never experienced that before. However, most of the people I know who have had the pleasure of hiring a coach think it was a phenomenal experience and want everyone else to do the same because they have learned so much that they didn’t even realize they didn’t know.
So how do you tell your friends they might benefit from coaching?
I think coaching is great way to get unbiased information about how we are functioning in a given situation, setting specific goals of where we want to be, and being held accountable to accomplish what he have set out to do. Any good coach will work with you to set high expectations that are also attainable and help you find the easiest and fastest way to get there, even if that means helping you get out of your own way. Who doesn’t need that?!
The best way to tell your friend he could benefit greatly from having a coach is to tell him about your own experience. Let him know what you are working on with your coach and how your goals, perspective, and actions have shifted because of the work you are doing together. Let him know how you use your coach in your everyday life by targeting situations that you want to talk about in your next coaching session and how you think differently about what is happening around you due to those regular conversations. Tell him about a specific incident that happened as a direct result of a coaching conversation. Tell him about your experience of coaching and how you got to the point where you knew it was the right move for you. Show him the progress you’ve made in your own coaching, and he’ll start to wonder if he shouldn’t do the same.
When someone I know is talking about a situation in their work or home life that keeps recurring, I might even ask them directly if they have thought of using a coach to make a change that lasts, and I’ll tell them about wonderful friends of mine who are coaches and might be perfect for them. If your friends are ready for big changes, they may welcome any help you have to offer because they have been trying this on their own and haven’t gotten anywhere. There’s no need to be shy. Choose the right moment, and your friend might get offended, but if you take the time to explain to them that you only suggest it because you want to help they may come around. They may even thank you later.