Tina O'Brien has reviewed Timothy Gallwey's The Inner Game of Work for us. "I would really recommend this book as it opens a new way of looking at ourselves".

The Inner Game of Work - Timothy Gallwey

I would really recommend this book as it opens a new way of looking at ourselves. Helping us to have Awareness, Choice and Trust in ourselves

Learning and performance

Performance goals may not require change in capability. Learning goals do require a change in capability. This helps with coaching clients who are fed up with their current job roles to help to identify how they see work and where they are on the performance learning cycle. Work will become much more enjoyable

The discovery of self 1 and self 2

We all have someone or something in our heads telling us what to do and criticising us for our performance. Timothy Gallwey calls this self 1 or interference. Self 2 is our natural inner intelligent selves This can really help with clients with limiting beliefs as self 1 is the creator of these. Helping the client identify self 2 and eliminate self one will help them to achieve and perform at their full potential.


Focus becomes at its optimum when not trying too hard and relying on self 2 without the interference of self 1. Focus is the best defence against self 1. When coaching we can get the client to identify when focus is lost and the interference self 1 is causing, also to identify if they have sufficient safety and challenge when they are not achieving their goals

Critical variables

Is what is happening in the world around us. They can be outer e.g. resources and tools or inner e.g. motivation and attitude. Inner variables are more in your control. In coaching by helping the client to identify their critical variables will help them to focus on these and ultimately achieve their goals


Is when an individual gives priority to the external form over the internal fire. Job satisfaction becomes improbable if an individual or culture allows conformity to quench the internal fire. If decisions are based on external voices at the expense of listening to one’s inner self, something of great value could be lost. Help the client to explore their conformity over their desires


This is the capability to move or be moved by change. Planned change is vital as random change gives random outcomes. Mobility is about conscious wisdom being very clear about where you are, where you are going and what is going on around you that is relevant to where you are going. Not all movement is mobility, subconscious movement. Ticking off a to do list every day without conscious thinking may not be progress.

As coaches we can help the client to become more conscious in their life’s goals ensuring that they make progress in the areas that they truly desire

The Stop tool

Step back, think, gather thoughts, proceed. Use the stop tool at the beginning of the day to make sure what you plan to do equals progress. Stop after each project and at the end of the day looking at what went well and learn from the things that didn’t go so well. The Stop tool can also be used to think before you speak. Use the stop tool when listening to what is being said allowing the speaker to finish.

Using this tool will help the client to stop and think becoming more productive and less stressed


By Tina O’Brien DipS FCIM



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