By Beth Donovan
As coaches we are likely passionate about moving people in a toward/forward direction to reach their goals. We believe in the positive and the possible. In the world right now, positive and possible must be actively sought. Looking from a mountain top perspective, coaches can see new technologies and other possibilities.
Clients deserve time to be heard so we hold space for them to talk and think. How can we, as coaches, be sensitive to a client’s wanting to be heard? We hold space; even when it seems the client might be done, give a few seconds of extra pause. Clients are processing what is going on around them and what is happening in the world.
Listen intently for meta models and meta programs. There is plenty being said through word choice and there is more that is unsaid. Listen and help them use toward language, describe how they are internally motivated, and be proactive in their approach. Listen to what they are not saying and ask powerful questions.
Probe your client with thoughtful questions so that the client provides complete information, evaluates clearly, and gets specific. When you hear distortions, deletions, or generalizations, then you know to probe even deeper into what the client is really saying.
For example, a client might say “There are no groceries to be found right now.” A proper response might be “Tell me more,” or “What are some different possibilities?” Support them thinking and moving toward a solution.
Right now, things are uncertain. Be sensitive and flexible, more than ever, and dance in the moment.