Coaching vs. Sharing

I was talking with some good friends one weekend about supporting each other in the world. Coaching vs. SharingA few years back, my dear friend Mark gave me an excellent distinction that I have been integrating into my life and my work ever since.

The idea is that if one shares information with another person with the intention of creating change in the listener’s life, then the information being shared is coaching. If, on the other hand, the information being communicated is being said just for the sake of talking about one’s own experience, the information is then being shared.

I wondered how this was useful in my own life when Mark shared with me. Over the years, the biggest thing I’ve noticed is that sometimes I want to help my friends — give them ideas or advice — to help them have a better life. Of course, what if they don’t want that help? What if me sharing things with them is coming from a place of me thinking there is something that
needs fixing when in their world, everything is fine?

The interesting thing is that you could say the same sentence and be coming from two different places in your intentions. For example, imagine saying, “I remember when my partner treated me that way. I didn’t think he was good for me so I stopped dating him.” You could be saying this from the place of wanting the other person to stop dating someone you think is bad for them. Alternately, you could be saying this from the place of trying to empathize and just share about your life. You may even have both sentiments going on for you.

Learning to recognize my internal motivation for sharing things has really helped me to have a more clear idea of what my intentions are and what information is therefore appropriate to share. I also notice that I can sometimes be attached to people making some sort of change when I’m coming from the place of coaching rather than sharing and by simply recognizing the different, I am able to be a better friend to others.

I’m curious what experiences you have with these ideas. . .

About PoiPriestess

Isa “GlitterGirl” Isaacs has been a professional fire dancer and instructor since 2002 when she established her first flow arts education company, Temple of Poi, the premier poi school in the world. Since then, she has been working as a Priestess of Poi, teaching the ways of flow as a lifestyle choice. More details can be found on the about page on this site.