Category: ICF 05 Active Listening

3D Ideas 801: Why we don’t like the listening word

Claire writes: “We have just acquired an automatic car and early on, there were a fair number of times when I tried to change gear with the brake… until I learned to perch my left leg right out of the way (thanks to a top tip from someone in the back!). It takes time to change behaviour.

Most of us haven’t ever been taught to listen – it was something we did even before birth – and we do it how we do it. Physicians listen to diagnose, plumbers listen to fix… and those of us who have been trained to listen do what we normally do. If coaching is a conversation where someone feels heard and knows something at the end of the conversation about their own stuff that they did not know at the beginning, I am listening so that you understand more about your own stuff – not so that I understand.

We are supporting people to develop new behaviours. Listening in detail to the story and reflecting that back is what many of us have learned to do. It also rarely gives new insight to the other person. That’s why, in training, we invite people to notice, and don’t use the listening word. When they offer back two or three headlines (not a summary – themes) to the person who told their story, that person is astonished how much more they felt heard. More often than not it gives them new insights into their own stuff. We always offer headlines with a question mark. After all we are noticing, not diagnosing. Try it!

Interestingly when I am mentoring coaches, we listen together to recordings of them working with their people. Every time I ask ‘what did you notice this time’, they have heard in a deeper way something which is of much greater value to the person with whom they are working.

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3D Ideas 800: 18 Seconds

Claire writes: “Research into the conversations doctors have with patients says that on average they listen to a patient for 18 seconds before the expert in them interrupts. Tom Peters, in an insightful 3 minute video, suggests that habit goes much wider than the medical world.

When you’re used to having conversations where you input or gather data or make quick decisions, it’s quite a shift to listen well. “The single most significant strategic strength that an organisation can have is not a good strategic plan but a commitment to strategic listening on the part of every member of the organisation” says Peters.
That’s why so much of our time is spent developing listening skills in people at work. Next week, we’ll tell you why we’ve stopped using the word listening!

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3D Ideas 794: Stop Looking in the Wrong Place

Claire is speaking at the UK ICF Conference on May 8th: Letting your partner lead the dance – are you coming?

Claire writes: “I had a bit of a revelation last week simply by tweaking the start of Day 2 of Transforming Conversations. I simply noticed that conversations are more likely to be transformational – where someone knows something about their own stuff that changes the way they look at things – if the coach (or facilitator) is looking at their face (and their feet!).

When people are thinking, it seems that our natural reaction is to look away and respect their emerging insights. That’s the very moment to look at their eyes. That’s when we can notice if they are thinking. When they come back, the most useful question to ask is ‘Where are we now?’. They will certainly have moved! People observing this say it looks much too direct. they only person who won’t say that is the thinker – they weren’t looking, after all!

Feet can sometimes give some useful insights, too.”

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3D Ideas 786: Another Look at Less is More

Claire writes: “The fewer words we use in conversations, the easier it is to listen more and notice (and say) what we hear and see. When we use more words, we listen less and because it’s harder to notice what’s happening, it’s easier to slip into diagnosing someone else’s problem. And then prescribing a solution. Which may not be why they came to see us.”

© 2017 3D Coaching Ltd
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Why listening matters for doctors (and others)

3D Ideas 783: Capacity and Capability

Claire writes: “In conversation preparing for today’s Group Coaching training, I wrote down

If we pin down the content too much, we undervalue the capacity of the group to be generative

It can also undervalue the experience, knowledge and skill they bring. When we are training, we rarely teach people things they don’t know. What we do is name things they don’t know that they know so that in future they can draw on that more intentionally.

The same is true for managers and staff.  When we don’t listen, we undervalue people’s capacity and capability.  Listen to Tom Peters exploring whether we are an 18 second leader, manager (or doctor, or vicar, or…)”

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3D Ideas 772: Pinning Down

Claire writes: ‘”Don’t interrupt”. Spoken or implied, that’s a message most of us had wired into us as children. So when we are in a conversation where we are thinking “what is it we are can usefully do here”, we don’t interrupt.

A coaching style demonstrates that we can learn to stop interrupting people’s thinking and start interrupting when they are repeating stuff they know already if it’s not useful to them.

Try interrupting talking with short contracting questions

  • So today…?
  • And your question for us today is: How can I…? (NB the I is them not you!)

And try not interrupting thinking by listening with your eyes – by watching theirs.”

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3D Ideas 759: Exploring – for who?

Claire writes: “Curiosity and exploration are key features of a coaching style.  But if I am curious and exploring your stuff for me, it can turn into an investigation and simply end up with me acquiring information

A much more effective way of being curious and exploring is for us to explore together – so that you learn new things about your situation and possibilities. That way you grow and develop. That’s coaching!


© 2016 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 739: Watch their feet!

feet-692024_1920Claire writes: “Once again on a one day course with people who have never used coaching before, we have had some deep learning about listening.  She said she was stuck.  She stood with her feet poised as though about to start a run. She wasn’t as stuck as she thought.
People speak with their bodies before they speak with their voice – one of the key skills of listening is to use our eyes.  No great analysis of body language.  Simply notice.”
© 2016 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 721: Silence

rain-955956_1280Dietrich Bonhoeffer said ‘Don’t fill the silence with your own story’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s all!

© 2016 3D Coaching Ltd
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