Coaching, among other important aspects, is about having someone listen to you totally. For some clients, this can be the first time in their lives that they truly experience ‘being listened to’.
Lack of listening
There is a general epidemic in society of a lack of listening. We are all so consumed by our own little world that when we are in conversations, we tend to listen to our own mind chatter and wait for a time to interrupt the flow of our conversation partner because we are eager to share our point of view or offer our solution and give advice. Why is that? My guess is because we generally experience a deep deficit in being listened to.
What is listening?
Most people do not fully understand the art of listening. Depending on your personality you might have different strategies going on in conversations: some people are so keen to help that they offer unsolicited advice and unasked for tips, other people are really not that interested in others and simply pretend to listen to get their own ideas across and yet others are to self-conscious and afraid of sharing themselves that they do listen but mainly because they rather not divulge personal information, which they might process in their mind while listening to you.
The art of listening is to put your own agenda to the side, completely ‘forget yourself’, your own agenda, thoughts and opinions and fully attend to the other. If you master listening you enter into another person’s world through truly listening and engaging with their perspective. You will most probably see the joy in the other person’s eyes, as they feel understood, valued and taken seriously. This does not even mean that you have to agree with their point of view – remember it’s not about what you think.
Being fully listened to
It is said that a problem well explained is half solved. This means that coaching is not advice giving or offering solution. The premise is that each and every person already has all the resources they need inside of them and might just need some time to reveal it to themselves. A masterful coach also invites self listening by repeating back what the client has just said with the words: ‘Did you hear yourself saying…?’ The lack of listening that we might have become aware of in relation to others also often applies to ourselves.
In a coaching situation it can be joyful and painful at the same time to have someone there who can truly listen to you. Have you found the right coach yet?