IAC Coaching Mastery #3 is Engaged Listening and in the ICF Core Competencies, Core Competency #5 is Active Listening so as you can see, the IAC and ICF core coaching skill in this area are in alignment. I will refer to this skill as Engaged Listening since CCI (Christian Coach Institute) is a licensed Coaching Mastery School of IAC.
When I think of an “engaged listener”, I get a picture of an intimate kind of listening where two people are deeply connected at the heart level. In one of our coach training classes last week, I asked the coaches-in-training to give me a word that would describe “engaged”, and I heard the words committed, bonded, connected and interwoven …mmm great words to describe communication on a deeper than normal level. Aren’t these great words to describe an engaged listener? Don’t you yearn to be listened to by someone who is “engaged”?
Over the years, as I have studied and researched to sharpen my own skills and to learn more so I can share more with our coaches-in-training, I have really grown to appreciate listening as more of an art. I learned that in Chinese, “to listen” is expressed using the characters that include not only the ears but also eyes, undivided attention and the heart. As we listen to a client and use our eyes, ears, and heart, we have the potential to understand the feeling, meaning and content of the messages we receive from that client. Doesn’t that sound more like an art than simply a skill to be acquired?
Kimberly Dinsdale, a Master Coach and Coach Trainer for Christian Coach Institute, describes 3 ways of listening in her article, “Listening in the Third Way“. Her 3 ways of listening are 1)Agree with listening 2)Disagree with listening, and 3) “Be With Listening”. Kimberly explains “Be With Listening” means exactly what it sounds like. Be. Here. Now. In the Moment. Be here physically, emotionally,mentally. Truly be with the person you are listening to. How would you like to be listened to in such an intimate way that you feel the person “really gets you”?
IAC Coaching Mastery #3 is Engaged Listening and is defined as “gives full attention to the words, nuances, and the unspoken meaning of the client’s communication; the coach is more deeply aware of the client, his/her concerns and the source of the issue, by listening beyond what the client is able to articulate. And as a coach, when we are an engaged listener, the effect on our clients is : 1)The client feels understood and validated – not judged and 2) The client communicates more effortlessly and resourcefully.
On a scale of 1 – 7, how would you rate your listening skills as an Engaged, Active “Be With Listener”? What one action can you take to improve your listening today?
‘I know that you think you understand what you heard me say, but I’m not sure you realize that what I said was not what I meant.” – unknown