Wright Foundation | September 27, 2022

Need an Ally? Here’s Why One-on-One Coaching Works

Wondering if you could use coaching to take the next steps in your life? Or if one-on-one coaching is even right for you? A life coach can be a powerful support partner, guide, and ALLY. Someone to help you navigate your future and create the life you know you are capable of living. 

An Ally Like No Other: The Hidden Bonus of One-on-One Coaching

Need an ally in your life? I cannot imagine anyone who would not want more.

We usually define allies as people with whom we share a common intent or outcome. 

And we often assume our friends are our best allies. But that is not the case. An ally can even be someone you do not like or who holds values you detest. Especially if they challenge deep, limiting beliefs you have carried around for a lifetime.

The first thing you should know about one-on-one coaching is that you are paying your coach to be an ally—to unite the resource of their expertise with your goals and desires. If a coach does not function as an ally, they cannot in good faith support you and should withdraw and refer you to someone who can. 

In other words, you should fire them.

But before we talk about firing one, let’s talk about why you should hire one!


Coach as Ally: How Allies Differ from Friends

Friends may support our goals and dreams. Allies always do. Their job is to be on your side 100% of the time—even when you want to quit your job working for a big corporation and pursue your lifelong passion for candle-making. (I am not hating on candle-makers! I am just using that as an example of an extreme decision.)

An ally’s job is to be on your side in the bigger picture. They support you to identify and overcome obstacles. For example, you might want to switch from your corporate job to becoming a self-employed potter, which might be a strong move, but an ally helps you explore the “why” of this move and reconsider or set you up for the greatest success.

Can’t our friends do the same thing? It may shock you, but your friends are likely NOT allies. They can actually be enemies to your growth and development. They may not want to see you change, or they can remain closed to seeing you in a new light. They are thinking, “Why can’t you just be happy the way you are?” Your desires may threaten them, though only the rarest might admit it. 

On the other hand, the coach/ally invests in helping you to emerge into an even better, happier, and more effective you. Here, we use the word ally as someone aligned with us succeeding in our ventures and growing into our best selves.

CAN your friends be your allies? Absolutely. Allies and friends are not mutually exclusive. But when you are thinking about expanding your life, changing significantly, or looking at where you want to go and how you want to get there, friends and allies often serve different purposes. Friends stand by you. Allies align around your desires and yearnings that empower you to become a better you.

Forget Outcomes, Focus on Becoming

When I am not happy with the coach/allies I pay, it is incumbent on ME to say what does and does not work. (It is one of the reasons I am so good at getting coaching. I let them know when and how I want something different and what I will and will not do!)

Too many coaches today are outcome-oriented and not emergence-oriented. That means they focus on what you do to accomplish your goal and often miss your yearnings and emerging self. Dr. Richard Boyatzis at Case Western’s research definitively highlights the superiority of vision over goal in accomplishment. Both CAN work together if driven by vision

Focusing on outcomes only leads to short-sighted goals that empower you LESS than visions and purpose. Vision and purpose help you focus on emergence—becoming who you can become, a person who achieves goals by looking beyond them

Emergence happens when you work from the inside out toward your becoming. It is a longer journey, but one that will pay off with better outcomes.

I said it earlier, but it is important, so I will say it again. YOU are in control of this relationship. You are hiring the coach/ally to help you emerge into your best self. If a coach cannot bring things to both your current and your emerging perspective, then they will not optimize both accomplishments and emerging into your best self.

That said, having a coach does NOT mean you just sit back and listen. One-on-one coaching is a relationship where you co-create the experience leading to your growth and learning.

An ally invests in your authentic self, being true to whom you could become—the existential definition of authenticity.


Business Coaching vs. Personal Coaching vs. Life Coaching: What is the difference?

Eventually, all coaching is whole life coaching. The point of departure is the only distinction.

Executive coaching starts in a business. Personal and life coaching can begin with physical health, self-esteem, relationship with your family of origin, connection to your friends and social network, principles and mission, life purpose, and spirituality.

It comes down to who you are and what you are facing inside, as it’s reflected in the challenges you face outside. A coach who is a true ally will guide you to learn and grow into greater unity with your inner and outer lives.

The most important thing to remember is that this coach should be your ally in the truest sense of the word—someone who invests in YOU and your authentic growth and emergence.

You do not want someone you can be so passive that they are able to put their agenda ON you. You want someone who inspires you to engage in your own growth—someone who inspires you to push them to push you.

Are you ready to take the next steps toward living your best life? Explore our coaching resources. You can learn about our Chicago-based life coaches and discover more about our workshops and educational offerings. In addition, we offer courses for download at Wright Now, so don’t miss the opportunity to get ahead in your career, relationships, and life.