The life coaching relationship not only consists of the client and coach’s relationship with each other while coaching takes place. It continues after coaching has stopped as the effect of coaching lingers on the life of the client.
On the most important facets of a successful relationship between a life coach and a client involves listening.
“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to use are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.” Karl A Menniger
The International Listening Association defines ‘listening’ as ‘the process of receiving and constructing meaning from, and responding to, spoke and/or non-verbal messages’. Listening is probably one of the most important interpersonal tools. It is a priceless tool which, when honed and sharpened, is likely to enrich your relationship on all levels. While some may see listening as a trait with which certain people are gifted, the fact is that listening is something you can work at improving. Being a good listener is within everyone’s reach.
Life coach and client relationship tools
Facets of Listening
Listening consists of four aspects:
Consciously attending to auditory stimuli (in other words, sounds that one can hear) in our environment is the first aspect of listening.
In the 21st century we tend to be bombarded by auditory stimuli – sounds around us from all quarters. Selective attention is when we attend to certain stimuli while filtering out others. Hearing is the physiological process whereby we assign a meaning to the words we hear that closely correspond with the meaning intended by the person speaking. Remembering is the storing of information for later use.
Types of listening
Countless views have been expressed when it comes to types of listening.
Empathetic listening focuses on the speaker’s needs. When you listen with empathy, you’re silently letting the speaker know that what they say matters. Through your body language and eye contact you’re telling them that they matter. This type of listening invites the speaker to express their true feelings and their emotions.
Critical listening is judgmental. During this type of listening, the listener considers the words, the possible motives of the speaker and the context in which the speaker is talking. This type of listening occurs when a salesperson lists the selling points of a new car on the floor, for instance. The listener assesses the information critically, making judgements about the speaker’s credibility and expertise as well as how that car’s advantages could be of benefit to the listener.
Pleasurable listening involves listening to something or someone for its entertainment value. This includes listening to comedians or ports broadcasts.
Active listening embraces both empathetic listening and critical listening. It seeks to understand the meaning that the speaker wishes to convey. Active listening analyses the speaker’s works for intent.
In the next article, we’ll tell you HOW you can engage in active listening with your life coaching client.
Want to know more about listening and other critical aspects of being a life coach? Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Life Coaching Certification Course is the perfect qualification to help you achieve this goal. For more information about this and our other online fitness courses, please visit our website.