Center for Coaching Certification

Listening as a Coach

The International Coach Federation, ICF, publishes 11 Core Competencies.  One of these is  listening.  As a coach, listening is one of the most important tasks for coach to excel in: really hearing what is said and what is not said too.  When a coach listens well, and is open and accepting, then the coach is prepared to effectively coach their client.

As a coach, when you listen to people, be aware of their intended meaning and then rephrase what they say with clear, direct language and their key words.  Then they can verify your understanding, and they will know you have heard them.  For a client, the added benefit is clarity in their own thinking.  As a coach, the added benefit is that the act of rephrasing requires effective listening, so you improve at this essential competency.

As a coach, to practice and enhance your listening skills, when you are at a networking event or socializing, see how much you remember – peoples’ names and information they share.  As you practice more, you’ll find a process for remembering that works well for you and in turn helps you in your coaching business.

By practicing listening, you’ll be aware of what people are really saying.  This will be a huge help for you in understanding your clients and coaching them effectively.  Listen to obtain information, listen to understand, and listen to learn.

Some interesting facts about listening include:

  • We hear one word in seven.
  • We only remember 25 to 50 percent of what we hear.
  • Only 7% of our understanding is the words used (55% is visual and 38% is tone / volume).

Practicing to actively listen may improve your percentages as well as help you grasp more of the conversation with your client.  This in turn will empower you to help your client more.

Share your experiences in a comment here!

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