So what is this skill and what can we do about it? . Well putting it simply it's called shut up and listen.
Possibly In my experienced opinion the biggest barrier to learning taking place.
So why is it so important, we all do it, don't we?
Well the answer to that is no we don't.
In order to be effectively client Centred we have to actively listen to our learners and what they are telling us.
Ok so let's go into this in a bit more detail, the most effective way we deal with each other is by communicating, there are of course many ways to communicate , but think about the environment inside a car, there are just a few communication methods we can employ.
Speaking, listening and body language.
So we can see by the diagram that what we actually say only accounts for approx 7% of what we communicate, the rest seems to be made up of non verbal communication skills of which listening and body language are key.
Body language takes into account the following.
- Tone and pitch of voice
- Facial expressions
- Body movements mannerisms
- Spacial distance.
- Eye contact
So we could say that effective listening uses all of our senses in order to take in the message and most importantly to build trust and rapport with the learner. How do you feel when you recognize someone's not listening to you? Do you notice this through observing body language, or some other way.
How do you listen?
It's been said that most of our listening is done not with the intent to understand but with the intent to answer. Therefore how much are we taking in from our learners if all we are doing is formulating the response.
Have you asked a question to your learner with the answer already in your head, do you listen or jump in with your own answer.
How can you listen if you have answers already formed and more to the point what is the point.
Imagine being asked an open question, something that takes time for you to reflect upon the answer that is personal to you, you are just about to answer and the questioner jumps in with their answer that they believe you should use. How you feel now, frustrated, annoyed, unmotivated to answer future question, that is now broken rapport, the learning barrier is now a solid brick wall which is now harder to break down.
Breaking down that wall
The key steps to learning are reflection and practice, reflection can only be done when it's allowed. Coaching relies heavily on Q&A
The type of question needs to be one that is thought provoking and requires time to find an answer. This therefore should be done on the side of the road. (Most real learning takes place when the car is not moving)
- Ask a question and then shut up.
- Clear your mind
- Don't interrupt
- Let the learner think
- Listen to ideas in their answer not just the answer.
- Look at the answer from their point of view
- Don't be judgmental
- If you are really interested in what they have to say your body language will naturally reflect this.
You never know you may just learn something from your learner.
Happy coaching client Centred instructing or whatever you chose to call it.