I'm a coach for people who are trying to do the most good with their lives while being happy and free from suffering. Over the next two to ten years, I’ll be striving to provide a highly cost-effective service for those who might benefit from it.

I'm also a medical doctor who did biosecurity research at Stanford, co-founder of EA Denmark, and author.

Wiki Contributions


Coaching: Reduce Struggle and Develop Talent

Solid. What about the duration of each session? Is it one hour?

Coaching: Reduce Struggle and Develop Talent

Thanks for sharing Jan. I knew that coaching had an exceptional impact on you but this description puts it in a completely new light: 5x increase in your (expected) lifetime impact and 2x in productivity indicates an exceptional cost-effective intervention considering that you (as far as I know) perhaps invested around 500-1000 hours in total on this (when including personal development more broadly).

Super inspiring - thanks for sharing!

Coaching: Reduce Struggle and Develop Talent

              I think this link needs to be updated now that this is a post rather than a doc?

Thanks for noticing!

          That spreadsheet seems to be missing the vast majority of the info from the doc that it's based on. Not sure why. I remember seeing a spreadsheet version that had more info.

Wow! Thanks for pointing this out. Apparently, someone recently removed 90% of all info from the spreadsheet. I just restored the newest version so now that spreadsheet is more updated than the doc. Hope that the original owner of the doc is okay with this!

Coaching: Reduce Struggle and Develop Talent

Interesting. What kind of effects are people experiencing as a consequence of this? Also, what's the typical duration?

Coaching: Reduce Struggle and Develop Talent

Hi Misha!

Thanks so much for bringing this up (also, I agree that Kuhn's post is excellent). In particular, I appreciated his emphasis on the importance of caring a lot about the coachee and their progress. 

This does indeed sound like a solid 80/20 option. In fact, Henning Bartsch (co-author of this post) and Paul Rohde (who is now one of the best coaches I know) started their journey by doing peer coaching after Paul had tried professional coaching and are still doing it five years later.

With that said, a trained coach can have substantial object-level expertise (e.g., how to do deliberate practice, eliciting dysfunctional beliefs, and setting good goals) and process-level expertise (e.g., asking good questions, giving the right emotional support, and motivate people to take action).

One concrete opportunity for you to level up your 80/20 solution might be for one or both of you to experiment with professional coaching for 2-3 months and then integrate what you learn in your one-on-ones. Alternatively, you can also consider checking out this post on an algorithm for giving advice. It was before I knew much about coaching and certainly highly imperfect but perhaps it's useful.

Coaching: An under-appreciated strategy among effective altruists

Thanks for writing this! I'm currently writing a similar blog post. In particular, I benefitted from your brief, yet useful overview of the academic landscape of coaching.

Interrogating Impact

Yes, that's why I find my initial reasoning unnuanced. Upon slightly further reflection, it seems obvious that his wealth and dedication have enabled a lot of good initiatives and I frequently see initiatives crediting Gates. 

However, would  you break that impact further down? Some quick approaches that I can think of:

i) Simply use the heuristic of money pledged ~ impact ("wow, that's a lot of money. That has to be super impactful".) 

ii) Look into the causes supported in order to adjust the donations to the impact of actual causes supported.

iii) Go with the heuristic of if we have repeatedly heard someone (or something) being credited for his/her impact, then he/she must be very impactful.

Interrogating Impact

Thanks for the resources! 

3. I'm aware of the cluelessness but I don't think that we as a community act as if we're clueless. At least, we prioritize a relatively narrow set of paths (e.g. 80K's priority paths) compared to all of the possible paths out there. 

4. Very interesting. Clearly, others have thought much more about the complexity of this issue than me. Nuno's post was rather insightful and the examples used made Shapley Values seem more intuitive to me than counterfactual impact. However, the discussions in the comments made it less obvious that Shapley Values is what we should use going forward. Do you use Shapley values when thinking about your personal impact contribution?

Strategy-development for EA groups: Lessons learned from EA Denmark

One shouldn't include failure-mode thinking in the brainstorming part. However, while defining the project (prior to voting) it can be useful to talk about the failure-modes. E.g. prior to voting on our project on how to offset one's climate impact we specified that we should be careful about letting it develop into a project which also focused on how people can offset the animal suffering they induce.

Strategy-development for EA groups: Lessons learned from EA Denmark

That seems like some good takeaways. However, I'd expect that other groups (with more resources) can come up with more impactful projects than those you'll find in the project ideas.

As for your three-dimensional tool:

How do you determine who the leader of a given activity should be? Also, I think it could be useful to include worst-case scenario/failure-mode thinking.

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