By Sarah E. Roberts, PCC www.claritymatterscoach.com
In the comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Abe Weissman doesn’t listen. In one early scene his wife, Rose, is standing in front of him talking about her plans while he’s reading. He tells her he’s listening, but when she disappears, he is both surprised and panicked.
What happened when Abe didn’t listen? Rose packed up and moved to Paris.
When was the last time you listened actively? How much of what your spouse, partner, co-worker, boss said do you really remember? I get it. Listening actively in a noisy world buzzing with distractions is challenging.
When I don’t listen actively to the person talking, we both lose. They lose out on not being fully heard, seen, understood. I lose out on the opportunity to be fully present with that person in that moment. I lose out on that deeper connection.
ICF Core Competency 6 is Listens Actively. At the start of each coaching session, we ask the client if they are in a space free from distractions with door closed and phone and computer off. Great. So, what happens when we are distracted? How does that impact our ability to listen for what is said and what isn’t said? What opportunities do we miss when we fail to listen actively for change in tone and volume? What opportunities for metaphors are we missing? How does this impact our ability to rephrase and reflect?
As you consider your answers to the above questions, reflect on your current practice. What do you do now to prepare yourself? How do you eliminate mental distractions? What actions do you take to remove physical distractions? How do you increase your focus so that you listen actively?
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