Claire writes: “How many times have you been in conversation with someone and thought ‘that’s not what we agreed to talk about’ or ‘that’s not what we said we would do in this conversation’?  The temptation is to take them back to the beginning and say ‘when we started we agreed to do this’.  That can feel like being told off. And the challenge is that conversations are rarely linear and in going [what appears to be] off the point, they might still be going forwards.

So interrupting can be useful.  And it’s an art – because done badly it can put the brakes on and stop the flow.  The art is to pick up where they are and look forward. That might sound like ‘that sounds like a lot – so which bit of that would you like to explore today?’ or ‘as you hear yourself say that, what does that do to the question we are exploring today?’ And if coaching is about someone feeling heard and getting new insights into their own stuff, both the attentive listening and the new insights matter!”

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