Tips for Elevating Unspoken Communication in your Coaching Sessions from an ICF Coaching Psychologist

Joseph Grech Coaching Psychologist

Coaching encompasses both explicit and implicit communication, with unspoken cues shaping the coach-client relationship. Become Founder and PCC Coaching Psychologist Joseph Grech highlights the importance of recognizing subtle shifts in tone, body language, and presence, fostering empathy and trust. These nuances, often overlooked, are vital for facilitating change within both coach and client. We offer insights into maximising implicit communication in coaching, emphasising its significance in transformative processes. Explore these concepts further in our ICF Accredited Level 1 Diploma in Integrative Coaching.


Most coaching happens within dialogue however that dialogue is not only explicit. There are implicit ways how as coaches we enter in relationship with our clients. As within all communication patterns there are unspoken cues, nuances, and energy exchanged between coach and client.

Have you noticed this? 

It’s those subtle shifts in tone, body language, and presence that convey empathy, understanding, and trust, laying the foundation for change. These can help both within the coach and the client.

In this blog post, our founder, PCC Coach and Chartered Psychologist Joseph Grech provides some areas to consider so that you can become more aware of these more subtle forms of communication.

Below are some examples of how you can also maximise this unspoken communication which we explore on our ICF Accredited Level 1 Diploma in Integrative Coaching:
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  • Nonverbal Cues: A client’s body movements, and when it might not align to what they are saying. A client could say they are feeling calm and at the same time you notice they are fidgeting. Could this signal discomfort or resistance, guiding you to explore this further?
  • Mirroring back and being ‘in sync’ with your client: Notice the way you are communicating implicitly with your client. For example, a coach’s calm and gentle tone can reassure the client, fostering a safe space for vulnerability and exploration. However are you also mirroring your client? If a client comes in, full of energy, do you also reflect that energy back in your own tone and pace?
  • Silences: Sometimes (or many times!), the most profound insights arise in the quiet moments between words, as both coach and client reflect and process. Notice how you lean into silence and the way that use you silent pauses to help the client reflect further. We can be all caught up in a way of filling gaps, responding without fully noticing what is happening.
  • Breathing Patterns: Paying attention to the rhythm and depth of you client’s breathing can indicate levels of stress, relaxation, or emotional intensity, informing the pace and direction of the coaching session.
  • Space and Proximity: How close or far a client positions themselves from you can reflect comfort levels, boundaries, and relational dynamics, influencing the coaching dynamic. Think about this when online coaching as well, how comfortable the client is with having the camera on, the space that they’re in.
  • Somatic Sensations: Clients might express emotions or insights through physical sensations like tension, relaxation, or sensations in specific body parts, offering valuable cues for exploration and understanding. When a client talks about ‘feeling’ something, ask them where in their body they actually do feel it? What’s that sensation really like? How do they imagine someone else might feel it?

Become’s Level 1 Diploma in Integrative Coaching, recognized by the ICF supports you to explore these nuances of implicit communication and provides practical tools to leverage them for transformative coaching experiences.

As a leading ICF Coaching Courses provider we have regular programmes starting all year round, offering flexible evening and weekend sessions. 
Whether you’re an experienced coach or just beginning your ICF journey, elevate your coaching practice with Become!


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