Listen to me when I speak. It’s not about you, the way you feel, your experiences, your model of the world, your opinions and the suggestions you want to make to help me. It’s about me.
Working as a coach I’ve learnt to listen and believe me, it’s a skill.
Listening with the intention of understanding and not with the intention of replying. Too often people (the listeners) tend to focus on the things they should say and how they should say it, however to be effective, communication should focus more on listening and asking questions to clarify understanding.
Being a good listener is not about understanding words or a piece of information being communicated, it’s about understanding the whole picture, the emotions and the thought processes the person is communicating on another level.
There is a huge difference between hearing someone and really listening and paying attention. When you are truly engaged with what is being said—you will be paying more attention and hear the subtle voice qualities, such as intonations, pauses, pitch, stresses in someone’s voice. These, alone can tell you how that person is feeling and the emotions they’re trying to suppress or communicate. Paying real attention when listening to someone will make you understand the other person and they will feel it too! This is turn will help you build a stronger and deeper relationship.
When I was studying Carl Rodgers, my lecturer gave us a really good tip to stop our mind going into the ‘what should I say?’ mode, it’s a simple tool, just repeat what the person says in your head. Other effective tools are mirroring body language, paraphrasing what they say, to make sure you understand them, and asking clarifying questions to show your interest.
When we communicate we mostly use nonverbal signals. Non-verbal communication includes facial expressions, the tone and pitch of the voice, gestures displayed through body language (kinesics) and the physical distance between the communicators (proxemics).
Paying attention to these non-verbal signals, will give you clues and additional meaning that goes way beyond the explicit meaning of words, or verbal communication. Just being aware of non-verbal signals will help you with identifying deliberate or unintentional implicit messages.
The way you look, listen, move, and react to another person tells them more about how you are feeling than words alone ever can.
Non-verbal communication really helps you connect with people, so next time you listen, remember, it’s not about you!
Today I realized we were only 3 weeks away from WMH Day.
Do you know what the most common mental health conditions are? I found some shocking statistics when I looked at reports form NAMI, WHO, MIND and MHFA England.
On average 1 in 5 adults experiences mental health issues each year (47.6 million people in the US, 16 million people in the UK and 676 worldwide). These numbers are only the top of the iceberg as fear of stigma and discrimination prevent many people from reporting or discussing their mental health.
The most common mental health conditions are depression and anxiety disorders.
I am always wondering what discussions individuals and managers are having with their work colleagues and teams to break the stigma around mental health.
I wrote an interesting article on LinkedIn looking at Mental Health Awareness, highlighting why it’s important to understand mental health issues and offering a simple solution to have an interactive team discussion. Check it out.
So, what are you planning to do on October, 10th, Mental Health Awareness Day?
I work as a professional coach. I help individuals focus on their capabilities, develop useful strategies to be more resilient and to manage stressful #work and #life situations. #Mentoring is another of my passions, and I am proud to say that I started a 9-month #professionalwomen mentoring program with DFS Houston.
Being a #mentor is a fantastic opportunity to grow and share.
Anyone who acts as a mentor will learn from their mentee, will develop their interpersonal skills and will definitely feel re-energized! Being a mentor is a fantastic motivational tool as it gives us purpose (check out Dan Pink ‘3 Elements of intrinsic motivation’).
With the current L&D function developing into a performance and capability function working in partnership with the business, a mentoring program is a sure, proven and efficient way to ensure employees’ continuous development.
If you want to set up a mentoring program for your organization and don’t know where to start, get in touch. If you live in London or surrounding areas and are CIPD qualified you can become a mentor with their Steps Ahead Mentoring Programme. When I worked in London I volunteered and I benefited and learnt a great deal from it!
#business #gettingthingsdone #culture #productivity #executivesandmanagement #future #startups #learning #development #engagement #collaboration #leadership #leadershipdevelopment #learninganddevelopment #coaching #leader #leadershipdevelopment #growth #success #motivation #managementconsulting #strategy #tips #HR
Communication is more than just exchanging information. Communication aims to understand emotions and intentions at play behind the message.
Effective communication is also a two-way street. It’s not only how you send a message so that it is received and understood by someone in exactly the way you intended, it is also how you listen to gain the full understanding of what’s being conveyed, to make the person you are talking to feel understood and fully heard.
To develop the art of effective communication you need to be develop emotional intelligence and be highly self-aware and socially aware. The key skills you’ll need to master are amongst others: active listening, self-management (especially ‘in the moment’ stress management) and assertiveness.
Effective communication requires a high level of emotional intelligence from the coach.
Coach/client relationship – Some examples of barriers to effective communication and how to overcome them.
1. As a coach, you are stressed or emotionally overwhelmed. It could result in sending out confusing and off-putting non-verbal signals. When stressed you need to recognize that you will not perform at your best. Before a new client comes, make time to clear your mind and perhaps take a few deep breaths or do a little EFT or EMDR onyou to calm yourself in order to be fully present with your client when they arrive. You can also make sure you allow enough time between appointments to disconnect and relax.
2. As a coach, you are lacking focus. You can listen with intentionif you are multitasking (thinking about something else, taking notes etc.) you will miss important cues in the conversation and not be there for your client. You need to practice active listening, a good technique to be fully present and concentrate is to repeat in your head every word the client says to you, this way you won’t think about anything else.
3. As a coach you are inconsistent. If you say one thing and your body language says something else, you are inconsistent and not supportive. If you strongly disagree with someone’s view, you may use negative body language without realizing and make your client defensive. Always pay attention to your body language and keep an open and welcoming posture. Try to sit at an angle as it is a perceived as a non-threatening and indicates collaboration.
Some not so obvious barriers to communication that you need to take into consideration:
4. As a coach, you speak a different language: Spoken language might be a barrier depending on the mother tongue of the person you are coaching and their level of English. Referral might need to be considered in some cases.
5. As a coach, you need to make sure your client has the freedom to speak freely: If working with a person and they insist their partner stays in the room with them. It might be better to ask the partner to sit outside so that they can have the confidence to speak freely in total honesty. The same thing applies with teenagers coming with their parents.
6. As a coach, you might pass judgement based on cultural or social differences. Never make any assumption about someone because of their situation, status or nationality. As a coach, it’s important to be aware of your own biases so that they don’t hinder your relationship with your clients.
Marie claude Bouchet
Professional development, Personal development, mental wellbeing, stress management, resilience etc.