Coaches listen curiously, without judgment to other people’s words and the unarticulated desires beneath their words. What emotion is this person exhibiting? Do her actions and her expressed intentions align?
Often, I ask myself, “what does this person Really want?” What is important to him? Who does this woman want to be seen and heard as?
We can all listen like coaches. When we listen in this manner, we are listening at several levels simultaneously. We hear the voice in our head that guides our internal curiosity while we focus our conscious attention on the speaker. A coach softens her energy to be present for whatever path the speaker takes them down. By managing her own internal chatter, the coach can closely focus on the environmental and physical cues that inform the speaker’s message, whether delivered visually, aurally or merely sensed at a less conscious level. When we notice these things aloud, and express them from a place of wondering, they shift the conversation. The speaker often feels heard in a way that reduces the speaker’s need to repeat, and allows both listener and speaker to delve deeply into an issue within a brief time span.
Using this conversational style you can deepen your connection with anyone. When your employee, your client or your child feels heard, she feels respected. Respect is one of the most important table legs of trust. And the trust table feeds relationships like no other.