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You heat the oil in a skillet at a fairly high heat & cook the chops on each side until they are brown. This adds flavor. You normally aren't cooking the chops completely, just searing the surface, but that depends on your recipe
This step will also produce something called a "fond"- basically material that sticks to the pan. This is generally rinsed off the pan with liquid- wine, water etc. in a step called "deglazing" and used as an element of a pan sauce or gravy, or otherwise included in the finished dish.