Together with the ability to ask powerful questions, top coaches have highly developed listening skills.
Listening really is a core skill for all coaches, so we’ve added it near the beginning of our training.
We may already think we’re good listeners, but actually listening is a skill that can always benefit from the practice.
Deep Listening requires you, as a coach, to be completely in the present moment. With practice, you’ll be able to hold back the compulsion of thinking about what you want to say next.
This can be challenging for some, especially if you have a habit of talking when you feel like you just remembered something, or you have a lot of experience in what is being said by the client.
Research on Listening Skills
According to research, most people spend up to 80% of their waking time involved in some form of communication, whether that be writing, reading, speaking or listening. Of that time, we spend approximately 9% writing, 16% reading, 30% speaking, and 45% listening.
Further to this, studies have shown that the average person is a poor and inefficient listener.
One of the reasons why we’re so poor at listening is that there’s a lack of training and interest in developing listening skills. There are numerous courses available on writing, reading and speaking skills, but very few on listening.
Other studies also show that we only really hear about 25% to 50% of what is said to us. So, in a 10 min conversation with a client, without fully developing listening skills you may only retain 2 ½ to 5 mins of what was actually said immediately after.
Therefore it’s highly beneficial, especially as a coach to develop your listening skills to a higher capacity.