Skip to content

Coaching skills help all types of conversations

We have been talking about Coaching Skills and how they help to ensure a meaningful conversation, in both our personal and professional lives.

We have been talking about Coaching Skills and how they help to ensure a meaningful conversation, in both our personal and professional lives.

To refresh your memory the five (5) skills are: Listening Encouraging Questioning Requesting Action PlanningThis week, I will discuss requesting and action planning, then summarize your comments received on the listening assignment. Thank-you for those comments.

Requesting: Requesting during a conversation helps to stop us, from "telling", which insults others. Requesting provides you an opportunity to "add" some ideas to the conversation that may help others move ahead. Requesting challenges, tells people you believe in them, provides them an opportunity to think differently and gives people a chance to get really clear on their concern/issue.

How to make a request: Some examples are as follows: I'd like you to consider... this idea, another path, try something different etc. I'd like you to... gather more information on this subject, buy a book etc. I know this is an area in which you don't have a great deal of experience, so in support of your development I want to request you to .... get some assistance, some support, a mentor, a coach, talk to a church leader etc.

Requests must be clear in both content and deadlines. What happens if they hesitate to your requests?The answer is to you tell them they have three options in dealing with your requests: 1) they can accept them, 2) reject them or 3) negotiate certain aspects of the request. As mentioned earlier, this is an important step, as it allows you to "throw", ideas into the conversation without just, "providing an opinion", which sometimes turns people off and possibly shut down.

Action Planning:Action Planning is the phase during which you become very clear on WHO is accountable, WHAT they are accountable for, WHEN it is due and WHAT support or resources are required. Although this phase is, a must in the workplace, it has total application in your personal conversations, especially important topics.

Homework Questions and your comments (summarized) are as follows:1) What is it like to be listened to and really heard by someone? What happens when that occurs? Feel great, like I've made a connection with the other person. Satisfaction, feeling important, acknowledged and valued. Sense of relief so I don't have to repeat myself and/or do something myself. Get the feeling I could talk to this person again about an important issue. Very comfortable setting-could talk all night, feel complete.2) What happens when you do not feel listened TO? Lack of respect and don't care if I talk to them again. Lack of acknowledgement, no validation Get the feeling I'm boring, not interesting Get a sense that I'm not as important as others, feeling less than. Tough on my self-esteem, not respected, who cares.

It appears responses to question 1) are almost opposite to the responses in question 2), which is not a surprise. There are times and occasions where using these skills is unrealistic (e.g. social gathering with wine), but there are other times when you want to be heard and/or should listen. When you want to talk to someone and want them to listen-TELL them. You might try, "I need your attention as I have something that I need to process, to get off my chest, to get your opinion on and/or someone to generate some new ideas with". Don't pout, if you not going to be assertive in what you need or want, within reason.

Remember, the point is to be clear about your intentions and how important it is to have their undivided attention. You may have to be forceful by saying, "I just want you to listen and ask me questions before you respond". Shut-up already.

It is easier for us to listen to others than have others listen to us. WHY? Please explain this to me. Finally, be an active listener, don't just sit there. This is accomplished by asking questions which keep you involved, interested, interesting and you might even learn something new from somebody new. Wow.

Send your comments and questions to editorial@yorktonthisweek or cudmore@sasktel,net. All mail is kept confidential.