Listening is one of the most important tasks to excel in: really hearing what is said and at the same time what is really meant, too. When you listen well, are open and accepting, then you are prepared to engage in a coaching culture. During coach training, specific insights and listening techniques are taught. Interesting facts about listening:
- People hear one word in seven.
- People only remember 25 to 50 percent of what is heard.
- Only 7% of understanding is the words (55% is visual and 38% is tone / volume).
What are the techniques to move past these realities?
- Listen intentionally and actively, completely focusing on the speaker.
- Rephrase using the speaker’s key words and put the rest in your own words to verify understanding and demonstrate you listened.
- Reflect the emotions behind the words back to the speaker to further clarify meaning and show understanding.
How does listening make a difference? Consider this brief example:
Eduardo: My inbox is overloaded!
Kelly: Are you worried you cannot keep up?
This is poor listening that includes analyzing, interpreting, and judging.
Now apply effective listening:
Kelly: Talk about your inbox.
This is opening the door to explore the situation so that the focus can be on strategizing solutions.
Friends share stories and experiences, empathize with one another, and then analyze problems and people. In conversations, friends relate to what friends say, their stories remind each other of other stories to share, plans call for input and opinion with different recommendations and advice-giving, problems call for suggested solutions.
In comparison, coaching uses listening and questioning to empower thinking, brainstorm, explore, and choose. Listening intentionally means:
- Listen to what is said with a focus on understanding thought process and interests.
- Hear the challenges and ask them to generate solutions.
- Hear the options and ask questions to empower open thinking and broader perspective.