Friends Sometimes Help . . . But Usually Don’t

Why doesn’t a friend’s advice work for us?

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Hi, I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. And, I used to say, I'm referred to as The Big Game Hunter because I hunt down leaders and staff. The fact of the matter is, I try to help people play at the game much bigger.

So, the big game. The big game of being who you are, and what your life is about, helping it to be bigger. Now, this is a coaching video, where I'm going to pose a tough question. Why is it that friends are not often the solution? We need advice, help. Now, the problem isn't with the friend (Although sometimes, friends find it difficult to see us outside of what they remember us to be or think of us.

The problem most of the time is with us, that we find it difficult to take a friend's advice or counsel. Now let me deal with the first question. The issue with the friend or family, for that matter--Friends often see us in a particular box. Family often sees us at a particular box. The box is formed by their limited view of us.

So, for example, there are a group of men I've known for a very, very well for more than 20 years, actually, about 10 years, but I haven't really seen them for 20 So, we've all grown older and had more experiences, but we think of one another in that certain fixed way from when we were close to one another 10, 20 years ago with the result being, if I take advice from them, they don't know all the stuff that's changed about me in that period of time. That's one level.

Family. Let's look at family. Family remember us in a certain way to from that certain dynamic that takes place in family. Do they know all those . . . Is it always wise the take friends advice in a certain way and, at the same time, there is another issue that most of us are afraid of betrayal, that our friends or family will talk about our experiences, so there's nothing confidential about it. And,, there's all these lessons about betrayal that take place in our culture. You know, Cain and Abel, you know, it's an obvious example of, culturally, we are told, "no, be careful with friends."

I also want to mention that, for many of us, friendship carries a baggage and the baggage is we don't really know if the advice is good. And one of the ways that, culturally, we determine that advice could be good, is by paying for it. So, we trust people that we pay for services more often than we do those that we don't. Part of why we see therapists instead of why we take a friend's advice to stop doing this or do with that, is that, you know, we're paying for service.

We know we need to lose weight. All we have to do is eat less. It's not tough advice but people payn to go to Weight Watchers places where they feel the motivation and, and determination weekly. I'm going to pay for this, I will do it.

Well, for many people, the need to pay for service is important. I think it's a good choice. Whether it's for coaching, therapy or something else, paying for service, if that's the motivator for you, a friend doesn't provide, you should do it. And, I know in my coaching work, the people who are paying for service are often getting better results because they're more motivated to act on the discussions that we have.

So, if you're interested in playing the game bigger, reach out to me. Use I'd be happy to start working with you.

And hope you found this helpful. My website if you'd like to see that is and have a great day. Take care.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BSNo BS Coaching Advice Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2200 episodes. He also hosts Job Search TV on YouTube, Amazon and Roku, as well as on for Apple TV and 90+ smart sets.

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