How to Listen to Engage in a Win-Win Business RelationshipHow to Listen to Engage in a Win-Win Business Relationship https://c-suitenetwork.com/advisors/wp-content/themes/csadvisore/images/empty/thumbnail.jpg 150 150 Sharon Livingston https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/6122da12ec7cdaa17fc4e834f2d749da?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Listen, listen, listen and then reflect
One of the best secrets of great coaching [and all good relationships for that matter] is the ability to listen attentively. You demonstrate to your client that you are engaged and responsive while avoiding expressing your opinion or giving advice or instructing.
We call this Active Listening. (Some call it Reflective Listening…)
I personally prefer Active Listening because it suggests involvement and engagement with your client. You’re not just a sounding board who repeats the others words [Reflective Listening] but you’re fully present, responding authentically to what you hear and see and sense.
Active Listening creates a safe environment that allows the client to go deeper, and often come to new realizations. It’s the basis for connection, trust and respect.
Further, when you as coach Actively Listen your clients get to hear their words and tone as you mirror them. It’s almost like being an outside observer. This perspective helps them to have compassion for themselves and often helps them begin their own problem solving of challenges and paths to their desired goals.
There’s also a major benefit to the coach, particularly for those who are starting out.
Many new coaches and managers feel compelled to provide an answer or give direction. They think they have to do the heavy lifting telling the client what to do next, or sharing how they did it themselves, or coming up with a brilliant solution for a tough problem.
Listening in an engaged manner keeps the focus outside onto the client. There’s no need to provide a solution. All you have to do is be there in real time and play back what you experienced to spark their creative thinking.
Here’s an example.
Lisa rushes into her friend Jodie’s office, closes the door and begins:
Lisa: I’m sorry to dump this on you, but I had a fight with my sister and we haven’t spoken since. I’m upset and don’t know who to talk to.
Jodie: I’m right here. Go ahead.
Lisa: Well, we were arguing about what to do for our parents’ anniversary. I’m still so angry.
Jodie: You SOUND angry. Tell me more.
Lisa: Yes, she just makes me so angry. She assumed I would help her plan this elaborate party—I don’t have time! It’s like she couldn’t see things from my perspective at all.
Jodie: She really upset you by not taking you into account?
Lisa: Frustrated. Angry. Maybe a bit guilty that she had all these plans and I was the one holding them back. Finally, I told her to do it without me. But that’s not right either.
Jodie: Sounds really upsetting. And as if her plans are your problem.
Lisa: Right? Now I’m the bad one and I hate that.
Jodie: It feels bad being the bad one. So sorry.
Lisa: Yes, Exactly. So frustrating and I do want to be part of it but I’m so overwhelmed with things right now.
Jodie: It sounds overwhelming!
Lisa: Thanks for listening, I just needed to vent. I’m already beginning to think of how I can talk to her.
Jodie: That’s great. If you want to tell me more about it . . .
Lisa: [Sigh] I think I’ve got this. I do love her and my folks. Just hate feeling like I’m being pushed around and invisible in what I need.
Jodie: [Smiles] I see you. I think you’ve got this too.
Lisa: Yeah, I’m going to call her and see how we can work it out.
Jodie: Sounds like a plan. Keep me posted?
Lisa: Sure. Thanks so much for listening!
Can you see how this engaged listening environment gave Lisa just the help she needed to express her feelings and thoughts, relax and be accepting of herself so she could rethink what happened and solve her own problem? That’s a major benefit of the Active Listening technique.
Thinking about getting certified as a Professional Coach? Want to talk about it? Or any questions you have about professional coaching? Let’s talk and see whether or not it makes sense for you to become a certified professional coach.
The cost of $75 for the 30 minute consultation can be applied to the TLC Professional Coach Training program if you decide to join.
Tip 3 will be along tomorrow.
Dr. Sharon Livingston
603 505 5000 cell