Competency #6: Listens Actively
Play • 21 min

DEFINITION: Focuses on what the client is and is not saying to fully understand what is being communicated in the context of the client systems and to support client self-expression.

  1. Considers the client’s context, identity, environment, experiences, values and beliefs to enhance understanding of what the client is communicating
  2. Reflects or summarizes what the client communicated to ensure clarity and understanding
  3. Recognizes and inquires when there is more to what the client is communicating
  4. Notices, acknowledges and explores the client's emotions, energy shifts, non-verbal cues or other behaviors
  5. Integrates the client's words, tone of voice and body language to determine the full meaning of what is being communicated
  6. Notices trends in the client's behaviors and emotions across sessions to discern themes and patterns 

WATCH: Sackeena Gordon-Jones, MCC
READ: ICF Core Competency 6: Listens Actively

  • Hear clients and having clients feel heard
  • If we don’t hear them it’s impossible to help them gain clarity
  • Not hear for our sake as a coach, but to help the client hear themselves
  • Difference between old competency “active listening” and new
    • New focuses on the verb
    • Speaks to the “being and the doing” of the coach
    • Part of what we give is listening – with all senses
  • Listening "to the whole person" -- what the client is saying, not saying, etc. 
  • What is the coach noticing and observing, and how are they reflecting it back to the client?
    • When the words of a client may not align with their tone, body language, expressions, etc. 
  • Crafting questions based on the observations of your listening e.g. “I’m noticing…"

Questions:

  • How do you help your client hear themselves?
  • What ways do you make your clients feel heard?
  • How do you exist or “be” a coach?
  • What does active listening mean to you now?
  • How do your clients respond to what you share?
  • Can you think of a time when you were not actively listening?
  • What ways do you listen to the whole client? E.g. body, non-verbals, context
  • How do you listen from the client’s perspective? (empathetic listening)
  • What do you notice or observe with clients? (to disrupt a client’s thinking)
  • What ways do you take pause to listen better?

Book: The Listening Path by Julie Cameron
Review: Emotional Intelligence

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What ways are you listening actively? Say more... without a checklist at:

Music credit: The song reCreation by airtone has been remixed under a CC-BY license. 

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