Now consider the third area of core competencies from the ICF.
“Communicating Effectively” includes Active Listening, Powerful Questioning, and Direct Communication, defined in summary as attend to the client, hear the client, distinguish message, rephrasing, encourage and accept, integrate client ideas, bottom-lines, allows venting, questioning that: reflects listening and understanding, evokes discovery, create clarity, moves the client forward, and communication that is articulate, reframes, clearly states objectives, is appropriate, and illustrates a point.
What does this mean to you as a professional coach?
Enhance your listening skills by learning and practicing listening techniques including active listening, rephrasing, and reflective listening. Listening intentionally means you look at the speaker, noticing only them, then rephrasing what they say and reflecting their emotions.
Focus completely on the speaker and recognize how their personality and preferences color their communication. This empowers you as a coach to reframe or explore perspective and clear objectives. When you ask a question or share perspective, use terms that fit with the client’s style. For example, do they prefer describing how they see, hear, or feel most? Do they tend to focus on tasks and action steps or emotions and examples? Do they think out loud or do they want quiet space to think?
As a coach, consider communication is an area for continuous learning and improvement. Information is readily available on listening skills, assertiveness, effective questions, and neuro-linguistic programming.