Recently a client asked me could I give him a simple definition of coaching and after some reflection, I said that the purpose of coaching is to take you from where you are to where you want to go.

This formula firstly put forward by Timothy Gallwey simply encapsulates for me what individual and personal performance are all about, and how a coaching approach can be an effective way in helping individuals to achieve their goals.

Breaking down the above formula Gallwey believed that:

P = PERFORMANCE is equal to the p= POTENTIAL that an individual or a team has minus i=INTERFERENCES that are holding back the individual or the team from achieving their personal and team goals.

According to Gallwey human achievement and endeavour is achieved within two arenas. The Outer Game and the Inner Game. The former is played in an external arena where individuals overcome the external obstacles in order to achieve an external goal.

The Outer Game in the corporate world includes personal and corporate business goals to be achieved against a competitive environment often times heavily regulated. The Inner Game, however, takes place within the mind of the individual where obstacles such as fear of failure, self-doubt, low level of confidence and self-esteem may be encountered.

We all have heard the expression of athletes being in the “Zone” or according to Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi being in “Flow” or being in the groove. When an individual achieves this state either in work or in a sport they become fully focused, totally engaged and become completely absorbed in what they are doing. To achieve a state of “Flow” a balance must be struck between the challenge of the task and the skill of the performer.

In this scenario, the individual or team are using their p=potential (individual and collective experience, talents, and strengths) to achieve their goals

However most ordinary mortals also experience days when they find it difficult to get into the “Zone” and achieve “Flow”, the day tends to drag and time seems to go so slowly. During these days our minds can focus more on the negative and a sense of self-doubt, frustration, and procrastination kicks in and prevents us from achieving our goals.

So when we get into that space we need to identify the (i’s) the INTERFERENCES. We need to ask ourselves what are the things that are holding us back from releasing our POTENTIAL and achieving the PERFORMANCE that deep down we know we are capable of achieving.

At Summit Business Coaching we coach our clients to identify the INTERFERENCES that can prevent them from releasing their full POTENTIAL so that they can achieve the desired PERFORMANCE.

In our upcoming blog posts, we propose to weave our way through the research of Carol Dweck: Fixed Mind Set versus Growth Mind Set, Daniel Goleman: Emotional Intelligence and how the research can be used to build and lead better performing individuals and business teams.