When coaching give client time to reflect
Chennai: Empathic listening makes coaching effective, writes Elisabet Engellau in one of the essays included in ‘Coach and Couch’ (www.landmarkonthenet.com).
“Some people have a natural inclination for empathic listening. They allow the other person their full attention and create a constructive, positive atmosphere for further understanding by both parties,” she explains.
“To be able to tell your story to a sympathetic ear has a therapeutic effect, and at the same time gives the person presenting the narrative the opportunity to re-create his or her own reality, reflected in the choices made in structuring the story.”
What separates the professional coach from a friend or just another sympathetic human being is the skill of listening with the third ear, says Engellau. For, there is more than what meets the eye!
To get this skill, however, the coach has to work constantly on self-awareness, advises the author. “If coaches are not aware of their underlying baggage, it may be unpacked and transferred to the client.”
Another key insight in the essay is that effective coaching involves giving the client time to reflect.
“Life-changing experiences can happen in a single coaching session. An individual who is given the opportunity and has the courage to tell his or her story, with all its intricacies, can benefit from insights that can lead to important changes in the person’s professional or personal life.”
Change takes time, reminds Engellau. “Considering the cost of professional coaching services, it is highly unfortunate that too many organisations refrain from giving adequate resources to this process, and as a result waste both money and time on what in the end turns out to be a superficial and aborted process of change,” she rues.
Valuable lessons that Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries, Konstantin Korotov, and Elizabeth Florent-Treacy have put together in this new book from INSEAD.