Active Listening 101

I’ve been running some workshops on listening via I had the very first one last night and came home satisfied with my decision to have started them – people were open and contributing to the conversation with their experiences and what they were noticing during the workshop, as well as supporting each other’s learning.

What’s it for

When I trained as a professional coach, one of the biggest revelations for me personally was how much I can change a relationship by just changing the way I listen. During my training a listening exercise revealed how I mostly just listen to the voice in my head, and I realised everyone must be doing the same – not just coach trainees!

The group I ran tonight was very full with 20 people, twice the size I would normally have for a workshop, so there was minimum individual attention but as the purpose was sharing not coaching, it worked really well as a platform for just that, and there was time for questions and comments to make sure everyone got the essence of it.

Listening in coaching

Listening is the most important tool for any coach. The impact that the coach makes in the coaching relationship with a client is in direct proportion to how well the coach listens.

As coach I listen to your words, sure, but more than that I listen to your energy, pace, tone of voice, patterns and body language. At the deepest level I listen directly and indirectly to your values, beliefs, possibilities and resources that you have within you.

My job is to show you what I ‘hear’ so that you become aware of it. Because whatever it is that you want for your life, awareness is the key to choice, and choice is the source of change. 

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