One of the key skills that you learn to develop as a coach is active listening. That is the ability to give your full attention to the other person and be ‘in the moment’ to pick up on the non verbal cues, what’s not being said, and the tone, pitch and timbre of their voice.
However perhaps this phrase should be redefined as active sensing, because its not just the ability to listen, but to use all of your senses to get a hi-definition version of what’s going on. That includes remembering which is particularly useful if you have been coaching the person for a period of time, because you can pick up repeating patterns of behaviour, language or perspective on an issue.
Coaching supervision can be the place to reflect upon your ability to do this well. If you are asked to recall what you noticed about a client then consider it from the observer perspective and reflect on:
- What did you notice?
- What did you see, hear, feel, sense intuitively, recall, about your client?
Our brain is hard wired to pick up patterns and unconsciously we are often aware of far more than we realise . Take time to hone your active sensing skills by trying to use them in other situations rather than formal coaching mode.