How Coaching Works

by Haider on December 20, 2008 · 12 comments

in Coaching

Coaching can be an extremely effective tool in achieving your goals, but it is largely misunderstood. The common assumption is that you need a professional coach to guide you, but this is rarely the case.

Although there’s a great deal to mention about coaching, I’d like to begin addressing this topic here by first explaining how coaching works.

Thinking and Doing

To achieve any goal, you often have to think things through and get things done. But these are two different roles you are playing. Thinking has its own purpose and processes, and doing has its own purpose and processes.

Your performance might slow down while you are struggling to make sense of some ideas, or trying to come up with a comprehensive plan to achieving your goal. While you are busy thinking, you are delaying the doing.

This can be overwhelming at times, which leads to an eruption of unhealthy emotions, such as stress, worry, anxiety, fear, depression, etc.

So you are now dealing with 3 things: ideas you wish to clarify, actions you want to undertake and emotions you need to resolve. Juggling the three hinders your performance on all three fronts. You won’t be able to think clearly, you can’t get your work done and you can’t control your emotions.

Of course there are many ways in which such situations can be handled. Getting a coach is one of these ways.

Division of Labor

The reason why coaching is so effective is that it divides the labor between yourself and someone else: the coach manages the thinking and you handle the doing.

With this division, the negative emotions you experience will be reduced, because you no longer feel overwhelmed while oscillating between two different functions: thinking and doing.

You can then focus solely on single tasks, without worrying about the tasks ahead of you, or what your plan is. You simply get work done.

If you look at the way a football match is played, you will realize that a lot of thought is put into the way the players play. But do the individual players have to worry about coming up with winning strategies? Do they need to think of how the other players should work on the pitch?

No they don’t. This is handled by the coach. All the players have to worry about is playing their part and doing the best they possibly can.

Coaching can work in a similar way when it comes to achieving personal goals.

We’ll look more into how coaching is carried out in future blog posts!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nawal December 22, 2008 at 11:59 am

When i started reading i thought you were implying that we could be the coach of ourselves but towards the end you said we need someone else to coach us. So by not needing a professional coach, we need ANY coach?!

2 Haider December 22, 2008 at 5:51 pm

Technically, any intelligent and sensible individual can act as a coach. I will write more about coaching techniques in the future.

You *can* be your own coach, but you won’t get the benefit of complete separation between thinking and doing. I’m not saying when you “do” you should not think at all, but a coach can help you manage your workload while you get down to business :)

3 Eaman December 31, 2008 at 3:34 am

I think that this is a great idea although it’s still seem blurry 2 me!
As if Ur saying that we need 2 do our role without worrying about what is the role of somebody else?
To do our best on what we know or have mechanically without worrying about the results?

4 Haider December 31, 2008 at 7:29 pm

This approach can assist you in getting your work done. It’s not about ignoring results or performing actions mechanically.

Technically, whenever you want to do any task, it is best if you can do it without having to think a lot about how it should be done. This doesn’t mean you do it mechanically, but efficiently.

When we have a lot to do the thinking and worry can prevent us from working efficiently. Therefore, we can have someone help us out by managing the thinking and the sequence of actions to take while we focus on getting the work done.

I hope this makes more sense, and I’ll be explaining this further, which is why Coaching is a category in the blog ;)

5 dennis May 15, 2009 at 7:05 am

Well, I have been very productive on my own. Why? Because I never multitask. I think if you do onething at a time you get more done in the end. Even if you have to do one large thing in small parts. If you want to do the best job posseable, do one thing until it is done. Like I said if it is a large job you may need to do it in parts. Work on the project for as many hours as you want don’t over do it, quit when you get tired. Then go do something you really enjoy, for me it’s ride my roadking. Never multitask, never.

6 Haider May 15, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Dear Dennis,

I agree. Multitasking is the devil.

You can get by without a coach, but a coach can help you accelerate your success while making it more enjoyable working with someone who is determined to help you succeed.

7 Bob August 31, 2009 at 10:50 am

Isn’t the opposite of multi-tasking – “Focus” ? ( and thats what it is really about)

8 Haider August 31, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Hi Bob,

I would say that the opposite of multitasking is single-tasking. Even if you have a single task you want to do, and you’ve blocked out every distraction from getting in the way of doing your task, you still need the mental discipline to focus on that task. Otherwise your mind will wander.

To be able to focus you need to single-task and have the mental discipline to direct your attention solely on the task at hand.

And, yes, focus is what it’s all about! :D

9 dennis August 31, 2009 at 4:56 pm

Focus, is what it is all about. For me focus is the hard part. But by single tasking, focus becomes much easier. One other reason for single tasking is that if we don’t get as frustrated, less doubt about our thoughts on getting that one task done. It works for me better.
But I have learned to focus more through meditation, I love it because I get the chance to clear my mind of all the junk of the day. Then I can get back on course toward focus. Have a great day.

10 Haider August 31, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Dennis, I definitely agree. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

Meditation is great. I only do a few simple breathing exercises recommended by Dr Fiore (in The Now Habit), and they help a lot. You breathe to disconnect from your past, to forget the future and to focus on the now.

I also find it important to abandon the habit of judging ourselves and using negative labels on ourselves, which we end up believing and screwing up our minds with!

A great day to you too! :D

11 dennis September 1, 2009 at 7:13 am

Yes, we must only think good things about ourseleves, I think we must all learn to think before we do; or speak. If one does that then what he/she does is more deliberate. When we do things in deliberate way they are as we mean for them to be.
Remember this, all you need to do to make it through even the hard times is to Smile, a smile on your face puts one on others faces. True; a smile can change someones whole day, ware a smile it gets to be a habit a good habit.
Breath deep, and slow sit and don’t even think of thinking close your eye’s and relax; do nothing but breath.
Take your time in doing what you have to do, give it your full attention be preasent.
When I learned to do these things, my life changed.
We are all life coaches, I learn from you, you learn from me, we all learn from each other.
Life don’t need to be as hard as it sometimes seems to be we make it harder by negative thinking, so you are right it is very important that give up negative thinking.
But that goes into so many areas of our life. that means we have to forgive people who we think did us wrong, we have to give on being mad, and any other kind of negative thoughts.
We learn to live in now, not yesterday or tomorrow. I’m sorry if I tend to carry on but this had done so much to change my life that I want everyone to feel the freedom that I feel in my life.
Thanks for listening.

12 Haider September 1, 2009 at 10:14 am


“We have to forgive people who we think did us wrong” is something I’m writing about these days and will hopefully be sharing soon..

All the ideas you mentioned work together and are necessary for our happiness.

Thanks for sharing. :)

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