The Real Coaching Equation

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Amar Pandit

A respected entrepreneur with 25+ years of Experience, Amar Pandit is the Founder of several companies that are making a Happy difference in the lives of people. He is currently the Founder of Happyness Factory, a world-class online investment & goal-based financial planning platform through which he aims to help every Indian family save and invest wisely. He is very passionate about spreading financial literacy and is the author of 4 bestselling books (+ 2 more to release in 2020), 8 Sketch Books, Board Game and 700 + columns.

I ended my previous post “The Recipe for Becoming 10X Better” with the following lines, “Getting the right coach is super important. The coach must be committed to excellence and must know what world class or the gold standard in our profession globally looks like.

I also added that “Athletes are surrounded by coaches. They have a strength coach, stretching coach, strategy coach, mindset coach, nutrition coach and so on.” The elite professionals invest in coaches. Even CEOs have executive coaches. A fantastic coach is not an expense. He/she is an investment. You will need a Real one if you ever think of implementing Deliberate Practice.

While Real Coaching and Deliberate Practice are the need of the hour in our profession, coaching as a subject is rarely understood by consumers. Many sellers of coaching services add to the confusion while not providing an easy way to truly understand the essence of coaching. Needless to say, coaching is one of the most fashionable words of late. Everyone seems to be talking about it. Our industry/profession was not to be left behind either. The objective of this post is to shed light on this powerful subject.

Sir John Whitmore, Author of the Book “Coaching for Performance” writes something very interesting about Coaching. “Despite the existence of the International Coach Federation (ICF) with members in 138 countries, if you look up “coach” or “coaching” on the Oxford Dictionaries website, you will be none the wiser as to what all these people are up to.

It offers two definitions. The first mentions a bus used for longer journeys, a railway carriage and traveling. The second includes sports instruction or training, private tuition, and extra teaching. It might surprise you to learn that the first is more relevant. Coaching is all about a journey and nothing about instruction or teaching. It is as much about the way things are done (how) as it is about what is done.

So, what is Coaching?

Coaching focuses on future possibilities, but Sir John Whitmore describes it simply – Coaching is unlocking people’s potential to maximize their own performance.

In fact, Whitmore’s definition of coaching comes from the work of Timothy Gallwey, a tennis expert and Author of one of my favourite books, “The Inner Game of Tennis.” Timothy was perhaps the first to demonstrate a simple but comprehensive method of coaching 4 decades ago. He wrote that the opponent within one’s own head is more formidable than the one on the other side of the net. Thus, the reference to the word “inner” in the title of his book. This is the game that is played in the minds of the player, and it is played against obstacles such as self-doubt, lack of concentration, self-criticism and so on.

Have you ever had a dialogue with yourself? Have you ever said anything to yourself?

I have – very few good things but many mean things- don’t ask me what because that is not the point here.

The point is that we all do.

The conversations between I (my conscious self/the person who speaks) and myself (the unconscious/the person who performs the actions) could be like “Come on, you can do better. Keep your focus on the call.” There is also self-criticism, “How many stupid mistakes will you make. Why did you say this? It’s so basic.”

We all go through these motions.

This is where a coach really comes in. To help us win the Inner Game.

Gallwey went on to claim that if a coach can help a player to remove the internal obstacles to performance, an unexpected natural ability to learn and to perform will occur without much technical input from the coach.

To illustrate this, Gallwey created the powerful Inner Game Equation, one that captures the essence of real coaching.

Performance = potential – interference

P = p – i

How do you think coaching can improve Performance?

By increasing your potential(p) and decreasing your interference(i).

Now that you know the equation, all you need is a world class coach who will help you learn and achieve the performance that you so deserve.

I will end this post with 3 quotes (to reflect on) and a question.

Know yourself and you will win all battles.” – Lao Tzu

The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavour. Vince Lombardi

The Key is not the will to win. Everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important. Bobby Knight.

The question then is – Do you have the Will to Prepare to Win?


P.S. Do you want to up your Inner Game? Would you like to have a Coach who could help you realize your potential and improve your performance? If this is what you need to accomplish, Please Click here to sign up. We will be happy to help.