Every coach knows that they’re job is not about telling, it’s about questioning. Coaching isn’t about asking any old question; it’s about asking your clients the right questions that will point them in the right direction to help them overcome the issues they may be facing. Coaching requires a high level of listening ability, and while some people are naturally good listeners, others are poor.
“One of the most since re forms of respect is listening to what another has to say.”Bryant H.McGill
The skills of active listening are summed up in a mnemonic.
Look Interested Posture and body language send messages to a coachee. If you are sat upright and leaning forward slightly, it indicates interest. Occasional nodding and steady eye contact will make your client feel like you’re listening.
Clarifying the things that your client is talking about will show that you are willing to understand them fully.
Stay on Target
Try not to steer away from the coaching subject; you don’t want to undermine the original reason for your session.
Summarising is an excellent way to prove that you are listening to everything.
Evaluate The Message
What are the implications of the message?
Neutralise Your Feelings
If the message generates strong feelings and emotions for you, you must block them completely and react later when you’re alone.
When trying to demonstrate listening skills in coaching, there are certain things to avoid.
● – Gazing out of the window
● – Looking through papers
● – Looking at your watch
● – Drumming your fingers
These are all things that could make the coachee feel like you’re bored and uninterested with their issue. Maintain eye contact with them, nod occasionally and wear an interested expression to ensure that your client feels like you are listening.
It is perfectly fine for you as a coach to not understand something. You shouldn’t be afraid to admit to your customer that you’re unclear about what they are trying to say but there are betters ways to tell them to make you sound less blunt. If you need a clearer image of what your client is aiming at, ask questions such as:
● – ‘Could I test my understanding; are you saying that…?’
● – ‘I’m not quite clear on that point; could you go over it again?’
● – ‘I need to make sure I fully understand this; would you mind taking me through that once more?’
Listening skills are critical to effective coaching, and many find it difficult to accept the importance of it.