Listening is such a huge part of a quality coaching and therapeutic relationship. However there are a number of different types of listening:
- Superficial/cosmetic listening -It looks like I’m listening but I’m not.
- Conversational Listening - I’m engaged but also talking, thinking, watching others.
- Active listening - I’m very focused on what you are saying, recording facts paying attention, asking questions.
- Deep listening - I’m more focused on you than me and I’m getting a sense of who you are.
What are the characteristics of active listening?
- Vocal responses e.g. ‘ uh-huh’ or ‘mmn’
- Non-verbal responses e.g. nodding head, facial expression
- Eye contact
- Facial expression…what’s your listening face?
- Summarising and paraphrasing
- Checking understanding
- Reflecting (repeating back the words used to encourage more development
- Picking up language deletions, distortions and generalisations
- Understanding and noting client metaphors and style of communicating
- Understanding how to have the most leverage with coachee
- Noting body language
- Noting tones and ‘leakage’
What are the characteristics of deep listening?
- Mind of listener mostly calm and quiet
- Awareness entirely focused on other person
- Little or awareness of self
- Totally lucid and present to person speaking
- State can easily be broken or disturbed-by a question from a speaker etc
- An intention to serve –seek to understand, help, provide support
Note: Can’t stay in this state for long because we have other types of listening and interaction to do!