Home Concepts Decison Making & Problem Solving Application of Cognitive Revolution Theories in Coaching Practice

Application of Cognitive Revolution Theories in Coaching Practice

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Working with Geoff on attainable goal setting to alleviate the pressure of his expectations only works in conjunction with Kahneman’s understanding of the brain’s two systems. As an “intelligent and competent professional,” Geoff may benefit from a coach that explains the dynamics at play between the brain’s system one and system two. Since this is a lifelong struggle that Geoff has experienced, he has reinforced the neurological pathways that sabotage his social situations. For Geoff’s brain, this enhanced pathway has become the path of least resistance. By setting unattainable expectations, the moment a factor fails to meet Geoff’s expectations, his system one takes charge to get him out of there and protect him from the rejection he most fears.

Coaching Geoff to understand that he is going to be fighting his neurological hardwiring may help to alleviate the frustration he experiences even if his smaller goals are not initially met. Change can be accomplished if Geoff is consistent in his efforts to work through the disappointment as he rewires his neural pathways. As a coach, explaining what is occurring in the brain, especially in terms of Kahneman’s two systems, Geoff gains the capacity to understand that the frustrations he may feel are progressive. In turn, this understanding may allow Geoff to have compassion towards himself and his journey. This new insight and self-compassion may enable Geoff to tolerate his frustrations better and motivate him to keep working towards achieving his smaller goals. As these goals add up and the small achievements compound, Geoff should see change as his life becomes more in line with his desires.

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