What are some of the strengths that support your listening skills?
One of our coach-trainees said to us after he finished his ICF Diploma in Integrative Coaching, how much he had changed. How he now was entering conversations with the intention to listen rather than to respond. We loved hearing that!
How can you develop your listening skills? Here are 4 key takeaways:
1. Awareness. It isn’t easy to pick up on both verbal and nonverbal messages. You must learn to notice the little details – tone of voice, posture, facial expressions, and hand gestures. Stay aware of those clues, learn to read between the lines and with all your senses.
2. Patience. People communicate differently – styles, speed, level of detail or non-directness. It takes patience not to react with your emotions or express judgement. Effective listening means holding that safe space for someone to say what they need to say, their way.
3. Focus. Getting distracted is easy these days. Phones, text messages, running a to-do-list in your head. Stay in the moment to truly hear what other person is saying. Yes, your mind is still likely to wander, but being aware of it and consistently bringing yourself back to staying focused will help you to be present.
4. Empathy. The ability to understand another person and put yourself in their shoes is important. It doesn’t come easy for many, but asking the right questions to understand the situation or practicing seeing others’ perspective can help overtime.
If you want to find out more about ways to listen better join us on a free Coaching Fundamentals webinar that we run at Become. On the webinar you will learn what great coaching truly is about, the way it differs from related fields (say mentoring), our integrative coaching approach, and the ICF (our awarding body).
The webinar is free and suitable for those interested in organisational or life coaching. It’s also great if you’re thinking about career or executive coaching as your next profession.