Our best coaching questions come from our clients, from the experiences they’re having in the moment. That’s why it doesn’t help to have a spectacular book of coaching questions to guide the coaching conversation. The best questions come from what’s going on inside the client.
That’s how you know what to ask next.
Listening is the most important work we do as coaches. We know that listening is not just what is being said, it includes what is not being said. Listening is hearing body language, changes in energy levels, openness, sadness and more. It’s not just hearing what’s being said on the surface but what is underneath the surface.
For the past, few weeks not a day goes by that we don’t hear about someone being a victim or victimizer of another person, especially in the workplace. Some of the reports go back decades. When those who have been hurt, or offended are asked why they didn’t speak up earlier, their responses are certainly based on being afraid or intimated by another person. They also say they didn’t talk because they didn’t believe anyone would “listen”.
This a rally cry to our profession. Organizations (and our world) are telling us loud and clear that they don’t always know how to “listen” when someone is speaking. Now more than ever, it’s important that we elevate the importance and value of listening in the workplace and in the work that you do with your clients.
Make Nepo has a beautiful book called Seven Thousand Ways to Listen. It’s about his journey through a health crises. The attention he brings to listening is essential. He says “listening is the doorway to everything that matters.” Nepo’s reflective book would not be found on the top ten must read list for business owners and leaders, but if it were, it would soften and tenderize the hearts of the reader with a reminder of our humanity at home and in the workplace.
Listening is a skill that when practiced gives insight and understanding to what is being said and prompts us to ask about the meaning of those words. Listening also provides a way for us to understanding what is happening around us.
Did you know that you can “listen” to your organization to find out what’s happening inside of it and inside of your people?
Listening creates connection.
Your clients, employees and your team will better connect with you when they know you are listening to them. Listening creates a safer work environment.
The world is changing and it’s telling us something important. It’s saying “we’ve forgotten how or we have lowered the value of listening, we are disconnected…will you help us?”.
Companies are scrambling to get procedures in place to sensitize the work environment to be aware of things like harassment and behaviors that cross the line or that hurt other people. I believe these efforts will fall flat if that training is not coupled with improving the listening skills of the team and the leadership.
You can’t solve half of the problem, you have to solve the “whole” problem. We need to become aware of what hurtful behavior looks like and we must become better at listening to hear, know and understand.
Coaches and leaders: we have an invitation before us…how will we best respond? How will we listen?
The Listening InService is a one day training that teaches the skill of professional, personal, cultural and environment listening. Attendees learn to not only hear, but to understand what s being said. The results of this InService training day is a safer work environment with an elevated awareness of repsect and communication.