1. Listen – What to listen?:
What the client (or coachee/team-member, depending on the context) is saying, not saying, beyond body language.
Listen deeply, with empathy, unconditional positive regard, and if possible,
with unconditional love.
A mother’s love is closest to unconditional love. A great Guru demonstrates the same. Hence the mirror is a popular metaphor for active listening. No judgment, no opinion, no rush to offer a solution.
Is it possible? This is a skill that can be learned. Not what we teach at BSchools as a communication skill, not what we train at corporates as a leadership skill. It is much deeper.
2. Ask – What to ask? It comes from what the client is saying (& not saying!). Picking up the thread is a great skill. After the client has finished talking. It also depends on what is the objective of the conversation, irrespective of the context, at work, or beyond. It should be a thought-provoking and creative approach, beyond the process. Hence it is powerful questioning. Powerful for the client, and a verb.
3. Tell – What to tell? What we observe. What you pick up as a potential dissonance. What you want to challenge, to nudge gently out of comfort zone… all for the benefit of the client. Subject to the trust and confidence already built into the relationship, and being nurtured. Not for the ego of the coach/leader/professional. Why? So that the client moves from the current state to a move resourceful state, as s/he defines it, at a pace that works for her/him.
4. Presence – Not a dominating, overbearing presence. That is actually not “presence”, but absence. Pure presence is without ego, again for the client.
Can we tap into that state of selflessness?
5. Creating Awareness – Holding mirror, listening deeply, powerful questioning… all with the object to facilitate the client to move towards his/her stated goals. Not mere transactional goals, but connected deeply with life goals, life purpose.
Can it get more client-centric? Not just lip-service, but at all levels.
- The bad news is these are tough work for a leader, professional, or coach. Unless these are used, the impact will not be transformational for the client.
- The good news is these skills can be learned. it is also maximizing potential.
It is most empowering for the client, very liberating for the leader, coach/professional.
PS: These are at the core of our ICF coach training and certification programs for aspiring coaches, and the Regal Coach Certification (RCC) program for leaders, professionals. Weekend batches during the lockdown to maximize your potential. Check out https://www.regalunlimited.com/ #CoachTraining