March 2024

Sorry, did you ask if I was a good listener?

Would you be surprised to know there’s an International Journal of Listening (strangely it’s not available on audiobook 😊)?  I was but then being a good listener does feel like it’s becoming more and more important.

If you google listening there are between 4 and 10 different listening styles to consider along with any number of listening techniques! That can take a while to wade through so here’s one thing I believe is crucial if you want to use listening to help you become a better coach…

As listening without thinking or interpreting is hard (sussing out others is part of human nature that increased our chances of survival) … focus instead on remembering as you listen on what was said, how it was said and the body language you noticed as they speak.

Then use a pause or silence after they’ve finished speaking (it might take time to be comfortable doing this) to draw on what you’ve remembered to choose how you will respond – using paraphrasing (reflecting back what they’ve said) to help them gain clarity on the issue or to shape follow up questions for example. Not only will this look more like you’re actually listening, it will also allow you to stay very present and will help you avoid (especially early on) bringing too many of your potentially very influential opinions and beliefs to the conversation.

I’m not sure if this blog will make it into the International Journal of Listening but either way I’ve found focusing on remembering as you listen to be very useful.

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