Are you Curious? In your normal every day conversations, do you ask before you tell? Or, do you have the impulse to automatically share your opinion or give a solution, when an issue is presented? If you tend to tell, before ask, you are like most of us in the world; ‘knowing’ answers and having experiences that we filter all of our listening through, and then quickly offering these in support of others, without much further exploration (or curious inquiry).
Now let’s take that impulse and filter it through coaching. In a coach approach to communication, it is an absolute must to stretch our curiosity muscles and become explorers: To step out of our own knowing, and with curious questions, dig for gold in the inherent wisdom of a coachee. The interesting thing is, that the more we are in curious inquiry, the more the coachee comes up with new insights and answers!
Listening is one of the most powerful core competencies of coaching. I’ve often told learners who are new to coaching if they can’t remember the five coaching skills in our model, just remember to listen! That in itself is tremendously powerful.
When coaches move beyond the novice stage and into a more experienced level, there are a number of factors that raise the bar in their efficacy. It all begins with listening. The coach expands their capacity to hear beyond the words and listen on multiple levels. It’s what I like to call full sensory listening. What does this mean exactly? Some of it is metaphoric and some of it is very real to the senses. Let’s break it down:
Just for a moment think of a conversation where you felt you were truly being listened to. Remember how it felt, the impact it had on you and on the conversation. Did you feel safe to share? Did you feel valued? Did you feel inspired to take action?
One of the greatest gifts we can give others, especially our coachees, is the time and the space to be listened to, really listened to. Listening to another, not just hearing the words, but really engaging with what and how the person is sharing…
Today we had a good conversation about the value of questions in the coaching exchange. The following is a compilation of what came out of that conversation. Our hope is that you continue the conversation by sharing this post and commenting with YOUR beliefs about questions.