Posted on : 26-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized
I remember one of the first required classes from CoachU was a class on “Listening”. All kinds of thoughts ran through my head when I saw the course name such as, “uh-oh this coaching stuff is as hokey as I feared it might be” and “Duh! Of course a good Coach needs to be a good listener” all the way to “I know I don’t listen to others nearly as well as I would like”. When it came time to take the class we learned some of the expected things such as giving your full attention when someone is speaking etc., but what I hadn’t counted on was how they taught us to listen to what was not being said and to listen between the word in addition to listening to the words.
Because the classes at CoachU were taught over the phone learning how to “listen” to clients who we spoke with on the phone was a pretty important skill to have. I don’t know about you, but when I talk on the phone with someone it is very hard for me not to be doing at least one other thing simultaneously (even as simple as playing solitaire) while listening. The jury is still out as to whether for some of us, doing something else simultaneously actually helps us to focus on what is being said. Suffice it to say for this particular class; I focused on what the teacher was trying to get across. We spent some time role-playing where one of us would be the Coach and the other would be the client. I’ll never forget the first “client” I I listened to both what she was saying as well as what was not being said. After listening to the “client” then we were to give feedback to the class and then the client would let us know if we were on track or not.
With my particular client, I noticed that during the time she was talking my stomach began to feel queasy and then my lower back ached. When I gave my feedback about what I heard I almost didn’t talk about the physical things I was picking up but I’m so glad I did because as it turned out, this client had problems with her stomach during the course of the situation she had been relaying to us which culminated with lower back surgery. She did not share either one of these physical things when she laid out her situation to be coached about but both turned out to be keys to helping her find a solution to her dilemma.
I learned not to take for granted those “inklings” that we get sometimes (maybe more often than not) when we’re communicating with each other. Every morning I read a few meditation books and one of my favorites is by Napoleon Hill. I’ll leave you with his thoughts for today, “Listening helps condition your mind to receive valuable information contained in the thoughts of others. Set aside any preconceived notions you may have about the topic, and listen attentively and non-judgmentally to what is being said. Focus on the information, not on the speaker. Try to identify and absorb information that others often miss because their “receivers” are not tuned to the proper frequency.”
Hmmm who ever thought that really listening to others could ever be so much fun much less interesting!
Go forth and listen my friends! Go forth and listen.