Is Anybody Listening Out There?
When a client calls you or you sit down face to face, are you really listening to what they have to say? A coach wears many hats: a leader, a strategist, a planner, a life architect, a problem-solver, an inspiration, and a goal-setter. A masterful coach values one skill — and it’s a skill his/her clients recognize and seek out. A masterful coach LISTENS.
Turn Your Devices Off and Tune In
It sounds so simple to “listen,” but in this digital world, it’s anything but. Your phone is ringing, a text tone calls out, your eyes are scanning emails as they come in, and the digital radio is on. It’s a wonder you can keep all of the distractions straight, let alone truly listen to someone who needs you.
Build trust and confidence in your core coaching strategy with your clients by turning off the distractions. Whether you’re on a call or sitting at a table meeting in person, turn your phone to silent, close the laptop, rest your pen to resist taking copious notes, put down the non-fat cappuccino, and LISTEN.
According to the dictionary, “to listen” is “to pay attention to someone or something in order to hear what is being said, sung, played, etc.; to hear what someone has said and understand that it is serious, important, or true”. It’s that “paying attention” part that many people forget, and it’s the part that gains trust, garners important information, and builds human connections that give our lives meaning and depth. The Masterful Coach takes the skill of listening into a very specific direction and with the two factor approach of training and experience, listening is a coaching tool and technique unto itself. Before you expand your skill set into that realm of mastery, you must step first into simple, plan, non-judgmental listening.
Stop Coaching for a Moment and Just Listen
It may seem strange for the Core Coaching Institute to be encouraging coaches to stop doing what they do best, but a lot of times, your clients just need a listening ear. They call you to hear them when no one else is listening.
When we grieve, when we’re under stress, when we’re facing great obstacles, when we’re deciding to make positive changes in our lives, when we’re confronting wrong-doings, we don’t want to be judged or lectured. We don’t always want or need to hear that “everything is going to be okay” or that “things will get better.” If your client is looking for your life-changing affirmative strategies or advisory services or a rally to action, they’ll ask for them. But oftentimes, they seek your trust and your guidance as someone who simply listens. They don’t want to be seen as a board member, entrepreneur, corporate entity, celebrity, blue-collar worker, white-collar employee, retail service provider, or political figure, they want a safe, understanding, and empathetic ear that will listen to them as a human being. Nothing more, nothing less.
Master the Art of Listening to Gain Your Client’s Trust
When you set out on your path as a coach, you envisioned making a difference in people’s lives. Inspiring positive change and mindfulness takes a subtle hand, like an artist painting a masterpiece with delicate brushstrokes. Listening, true listening, is a quiet art from where confidence, trust, and happiness flows.
When your clients trust you to really listen to their fears, weaknesses, hopes, dreams, and desires, you build a client/coach relationship that stands the test of time, the test of natural human imperfection and creates the space in spirit, mind and body that enables your client to boldly change in the ways they seek for themselves. Your most powerful voice as a coach doesn’t require you to say a word, it requires you to listen to your clients, as one human being to another.