Coaching Tips #3: Seven Benefits and Essentials of Great Listening

The Benefits and Essentials of Great Listening  Among the most important skills of a coach is the ability to listen well.  Listening is the most important and often under-utilized skill in empowering people!  Here are “Seven Benefits  and Seven Essentials of Great Listening.”

Seven Benefits of Great Listening

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  1. People know they are valued and respected when we listen.
  2. Great listening treats people like adults…and enhances adult learning.
  3. Listening “holds up a mirror” so the leaders can see themselves more realistically.
  4. Great listening helps provide us with accurate information…and helps us move beyond assumptions.
  5. Great listening builds credibility by demonstrating empathy.
  6. Great listening creates the focus and clarity of self-awareness.
  7. Great listening creates ownership and personal responsibility.

Listening Thoughts

“I bend a sympathetic ear to other people’s woes,

However dull it is to hear their real or fancied throes.

I pay attention to every gloomy line attention undiminished,

Because I plan to start on mine...the moment theirs are finished.”

 “History repeats itself because no one listens the first time.” (Anonymous)

 Special Note: If you are a high D or I in the DISC, or if your spiritual gifts are more verbal in their power, pay special attention to how well you listen!  It won’t come naturally!

 Seven Essentials for Excellent Listening

 1. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” (Steven Covey)

2. “He who talks most listens least.” (Steve Ogne)  Seek a 30/70 ratio of talking to listening.

3.  Start with the other person’s “world”—their context and frame of reference.

4.  Listen beyond words for tone of voice and body language…and be conscious of yours. Communication is 7% words, 35% tone, 58% body language.

5.  Beware of “autobiographical responses: interpreting and advising from your own experience.

6.  Don’t be afraid of silence.  A “pregnant pause” can give birth to great insights!

7.  Listen for “aha” or “uh-oh” moments—they are turning points.

  Action Point:

Plot yourself on this “Telling/Listening Continuum.” 

Enjoy Telling…………….Learning to Listen…..……….Enjoy Listening

How did you do?   What insights did you gain about your ministry of listening?

For a Word version of this post, click here: Coaching Tips #3 Listening

Dr. Tim Roehl, from "TransforMissional Coaching"