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!