Not sure what that is? You’re not alone.
I like to think that I’m a pretty good listener. In fact, when I’m in ‘feedback mode’ I can hear the story behind the story and feel the intensity of the narrative (which gives me an uncanny sense of predicting outcomes). Yet, I will be the first to admit to a few embarrassing times when I found myself drifting away somewhere right in the middle of a stressed out client’s story.
I had to learn the hard way to make it a rule to turn away from the computer and prepare my environment properly so that I can give my FULL attention to what my client is saying.
Your listening ear is the number one, most effective coaching tool you have at your disposal. And your clients deserve to know that you are using it during your time together.
Listening is a prerequisite for understanding, and understanding is essential for coaching and leading with IMPACT.
Sadly, while many coaches tend to rank their listening skills as “above average,” statistical research shows that most people forget 50 percent of what they hear within moments of hearing it.
Obviously, you can be hearing and not really listening. Actively listening involves your ears, yes, but your eyes, mind, and ‘gut’ can all be useful in discerning what a person is saying – or NOT saying. A person’s body language can tell you much more than their words.
In today’s fast-paced environment, it’s easy to do more talking than listening. And that’s the real reason for this blog.
- Learn to pace your coaching sessions
- Focus on listening
- Get very comfortable with silence
- Watch for all the non-verbal cues such as smiles, frowns, hand gestures, lack of eye contact
- Practice being acutely aware
- Notice how helpful and powerful silence can be
- Allow silence to direct the moment and do the work that only it can do
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