Great coaching can change your life - run experiments
I claim that coaching can be among the five best things you do for your impact and well-being this year which will have important ripple effects on your life (40-80% confidence depending on various factors such as consistency of sessions). More concretely, I claim that this holds true with an investment of ~ 12-20 sessions with a great coach that fits you well. And, if combined with serious personal/professional development more broadly (~ 500-1000 hours), it might be one of the best things you do in your life (that has been the case for me and others). This is a big-if-true claim and I urge you to take it seriously by
- Experimenting with coaching yourself
- Reading a more rigorous case (including academic evidence, reasoning, and case studies in the comment section) that I co-authored on the Effective Altruism Forum here
Sadly, finding a great coach is difficult and some coaches are clearly misguided (e.g., revenue optimizing click bait on Youtube) while others are clearly under confident in the value they provide. Consequently, coaching is a high variance service. Fortunately, even okay-ish coaching with a well-intended beginner coach (or close friend) seems to improve the subsequent week by ~ 10% in terms of productivity, well-being, or habits so don’t be too risk-averse with experimenting (see a thoughtful post by Ben Kuhn here).
So how do you go about finding the right coach?
- Find a few promising coaches
- Ask like-minded peers whether they’ve benefited from a particular coach
- Explore at least one other coach’s website/offer (see an overview of coaches here)
- Set up a free fit call (if possible)
- Run an experiment (e.g., six sessions) with the most promising one
Okay, so with that clarified, I’ll now enthusiastically yet sincerely present my coaching which has some probability of being one of the best five things you do this year (unless, of course, you’re reading this by the end of the year, lol ).
Vision and hopeful career strategy
Thinking, reasoning, and decision-making
Peak performance and purposeful productivity
Approximating your best self
How you spend your days is how you spend your life. You’ll build meaningful morning and evening habits that you’ll follow with high consistency – not just something you do for a few days and then stop because it gets boring or you forget about it.
Self-relationship and self-compassion
Overcoming and growing from challenges (anti-fragile)
Habit mastery (including digital mastery)
Habit mastery (including digital mastery)
Social comparisons and need for validation
Struggling with our collective suffering and existential problems
Hopelessness and victimhood
Procrastination and guilt
Burnout and putting out fires
Perfectionism and inadequacy
What they say
Kat Woods (Founder of Nonlinear)
Michael Andregg (Co-founder of Fathom Radiant)
Michael is co-founder of Fathom Radiant – a company building a new type of computer to enable safe machine intelligence who has investors like Jaan Tallinn and Jeff Bezos and has been advised by FHI’s GovAI.
Mathias Bonde Chairperson of EA Denmark
Charlotte Siegmann - Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow in Economics at Global Priorities Institute
You’ll get a space for going deep on what’s most important to you facilitated by someone who’s an attentive listener, a curious soul, and genuinely cares about your flourishing. Having such a space while getting the undivided attention of another thoughtful and capable person is incredibly effective. Two minds are better than one.
I feel a deep commitment to both who you are now and who you are capable of being. Most of the time, you’ll feel my warmth, appreciation of the progress you’re making, and curiosity about what you want to work on. Other times, you’ll be challenged by my exceptional standards, questions, and suggested directions because it’d be unethical to refrain from using my expertise in altruistic talent development to positively change the trajectory of your life. Collaboratively balancing these two commitments is difficult and that’s why we’ll co-create a feedback culture between us because no one is perfect and you and I aren’t going to be the first ones.
I recognize that we humans are fascinatingly complex systems with different parts that all interact with each other. Maybe your perceived pain point (or bug) is “I’m not productive enough” but the actual problem is that you’ve lost touch with your professional purpose, sleeping suboptimally, or that your schedule is all over the place and lack good habits.
You almost certainly have great ideas, insights, and theories about how you want yourself and the world to be. You’ve read and listened to many books, blogs, and podcasts and you’ve had many inspiring conversations. That’s great (👊)! Sadly, this isn’t sufficient for your long-term flourishing. Consequently, this means that many of your improvements have remained temporary quick fixes or (intense) short-lived emotional relief as opposed to consistent and long-lasting change. Therefore, we’ll take substantial care to translate the things we work on into high-quality yet pragmatic implementations and follow up on them. Moving you from theory to practice. From big ideas to real-world progress.
Paul Rohde, is one of the most exceptional humans I’ve ever met.
He manages to simultaneously be a
- Decent publishing researcher (PhD at LSE)
- Ambitious Founder (flourishing humanity corporation)
- Exemplary coach
- Playfully light-hearted friend.
The craziest thing though? He was working as a shop clerk when he was 19 with no intentions of doing high school and university due to his socioeconomic background. But due to some great teachers and substantial personal development he incrementally changed his life over the past 13 years.
He epitomizes positive psychology (the science and practice of human flourishing) and behavioral science (data-driven psychology with a focus on creating behavioral change via interventions) while being among the wisest, committed, light-hearted, and intellectually capable people I’ve ever met. I’ve had the fortune of living and/or co-working with him for three years (a lot of osmosis!), received 57 coaching sessions (some of which were 4 hours long), and hundreds of intense discussions. While you’re likely better off by getting coaching from him (do check his availability) you’ll still be benefitting a lot from his character and expertise via me.
How I view the peaks of human development is deeply informed by my 7-year long involvement with effective altruism. Both the project (doing the most good for team sentience) and the community and its norms (which is great but has room for improvment). In you, I try to cultivate an extended morality, love, and altruism towards people close to us and on the other side of the globe. To humans as well as non-human animals. To those alive today and to the rest of our intergenerational family who has yet to be born. I aspire to support you in doing the most good with your career and life and focus on the careers that you find particularly promising while still taking care of yourself. Additionally, I try to cultivate excellent truth-seeking standards in the people I work with. In particular, a Scout Mindset: the motivation to see things as they are – not as you wish for them to be. With that said, your intuitions and judgment can be incredibly important and hardcore rationality and deference to authorities can foster unhealthy self-doubt.
The offer - six session experiment
Why you shouldn't work with me.
You can find a better coach than me. While I’ve come to believe that I’m a great coach for my niche there are also other great coaches out there. The following coaches might currently be as good or better than me for some people:
– Paul Rohde (He has my highest recommendation and I get coaching from him. However, he might not be a good choice if you are not seriously committed and if you have difficulties with occasional tough love.).
– Tee Barnett (For leaders, specifically).
– Georgie Nightingall (For emotional work, specifically).