One of the most difficult things to do, whether you're a seasoned cook or a beginner, is to ignore the saute pan and let it do it's job.... ie: cook! We tend to stir things up too much and too soon. The most important step is to get the pan good and hot, then add enough fat (oil/butter) to coat the surface. When adding your protein, vegetable or starch, "Do Not Disturb" until a good crust forms. Resist the temptation to stir, shake or flip. This will result in soggy vegetables or beige meat.... not very appetizing! Let the natural carmelization occur. This not only adds depth of flavor to your dish, but allows a "fond" to develop in the bottom of the pan when sauteing meats. This is a fancy French term for the meaty bits left behind from high heat cooking. These bits are usually scraped off the bottom of the pan, using a deglazing liquid, such as an acid, like lemon juice or white wine, or occasionally a stock. This eventually becomes a pan sauce.
In addition to the "fond," allowing the crust to form on meats, adds intense flavor to stews, braises and roasts. It is the first step to layering flavors and ultimately adding depth to the dish. So when sauteing, pan frying or grilling, walk away and let the heat do the work.