A passive communicator is someone who waits for others to speak first. Often a passive communicator will refrain from saying anything and then, perhaps later, express a thought. Passive communicators are hesitant to stand up for themselves and struggle with setting healthy boundaries or saying no. 70% of people are primarily passive communicators.
During coach training the participants learn that when coaching it is their job to empower the client. Additionally, coaches ask questions and listen. That means if a client is a passive communicator often the coach is respectfully silent while they are thinking. Additionally, many coaches partner with their clients both for them to open up during coaching sessions and also for them to be assertive in interactions they have at work.
Coaches partner with their clients to create shifts in thinking and doing by asking questions. For the shift from passive to assertive here are example questions to ask:
- What is a comfortable way to engage in the conversation?
- How do you want to ensure you express your thoughts?
- What are the benefits of sharing your thoughts?
- How do you help others by sharing what you think?
- How does your opinion support success?
- What can you comfortably say?
- How can you start saying what you think?
- What words do you want to use?
How does this benefit the coaching client? By creating awareness of the value they bring when they express their ideas. An additional benefit is that this is supporting them to demonstrate their worth and be confident.