Become a-better-listener

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  • 1. 1 Glenn Livingston, Ph.D. Psy Tech Inc. All Rights Reserved PASS IT ON: Although this is a copyrighted book, you are free to copy and distribute it provided (a) you dont charge for it; (b) you dont change anything; (c) you leave all links intact. DISCLAIMER: For education only, as per the Disclaimer and Terms of Use Agreement on www.CoachCertificationAcademy.com. Not to be used as a substitute for a consultation with an attorney and/or other licensed professional. If you do not agree with these terms and conditions then Psy Tech Inc. is unwilling to extend you a license to utilize this book or the advice contained within it, and instructs you to delete this document from your hard drive without reading further.
  • 2. 2 Glenn Livingston, Ph.D. How to Become a Better Listener Sharon Livingston, Ph.D. c Originally trained as a psychologist, Dr. Glenn Livingston has helped literally thousands of clients. Along with his wife Sharon, hes sold consulting, teambuilding, and workshops to big names like AT&T, Nextel, Panasonic, Whirlpool, Novartis, Lipton, Colgate-Palmolive, Kraft, and Panasonic. Their work, research, and theories have been seen in major media publications like The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, Crains NY Business, AdWeek, America West, and more! "According to Our Students We Run One of the Most Powerful Certification Programs for Coaches Who Want to Grow a Thriving Practice...And Now You Can TEST-DRIVE It for a $25 One Time Payment!
  • 3. 3 Contents Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 4 Distractions ..................................................................................................................... 5 Avoid multi-tasking ....................................................................................................... 5 Create a quiet place ..................................................................................................... 6 Ditch the electronics .................................................................................................... 6 Being present .................................................................................................................. 7 Being engaged ................................................................................................................ 9 Audio cues ................................................................................................................... 9 Encouragement ........................................................................................................... 9 Understand communication style .................................................................................. 11 Let people finish their thoughts .................................................................................. 11 Listen for the sub-text .................................................................................................... 12 Emotion ..................................................................................................................... 12 Ideas .......................................................................................................................... 13 Don't make assumptions............................................................................................ 13 Conclusion .................................................................................................................... 14 PASS IT ON: Although this is a copyrighted book, you are free to copy and distribute it provided (a) you dont charge for it; (b) you dont change anything; (c) you leave all links intact. DISCLAIMER: For education only, as per the Disclaimer and Terms of Use Agreement on www.CoachCertificationAcademy.com. Not to be used as a substitute for a consultation with an attorney and/or other licensed professional. If you do not agree with these terms and conditions then Psy Tech Inc. is unwilling to extend you a license to utilize this book or the advice contained within it, and instructs you to delete this document from your hard drive without reading further.
  • 4. 4 Introduction I think most coaches are good listenersbetter than other people. And most coaches would probably evaluate themselves similarly. But since listening is hands down the most important skill a coach employs, there's always room for improvement. And there's a LOT more to listening than just hearing. It's important to know how to optimize your listening skills so you don't miss a key piece of information when your client finally becomes brave enough to share it. Most coaches these days practice over the telephone or Skype. And there are both positives and negatives to this arrangement. Distance coaching allows you to serve clients all over the world. Which is great, especially if you have a narrow coaching niche. It's also very convenient, allows you to work from home, and keeps operating costs lowsomething absolutely essential for beginners. But the downside of phone coaching sessions is you can miss some things due to being unable to see your client. You wont know, for example, that she just crossed her arms when you asked an important question. You cant see him break eye contact when discussing his mother. Body language can be an important tool in coaching. That's why listening skills are particularly important in the modern era. Just like a blind person, you have to power-up your other senses to make up for what you can't see. You have to listen for things you normally wouldn't hear during an everyday phone call with a colleague or a family member. Which is why I developed this quick read on listening skills to help you make the most of your sessions. I hope you find some of these skills useful even surprising. And I hope you pass them on to your clients. Everyone can improve their communication skills by learning to listen better.
  • 5. 5 Distractions It's much easier to get distracted while talking to someone on the telephone than when youre sitting right across from you. Think about your last few telephone conversations. Other people, email, texts on your smart phone, daydreaming, other calls, dogs barking, computer games, your kids, etc. are just a few of the million and one distractions when you work with clients via telephone or Skype from home. On a cell phone, it's worse. People often talk while theyre ordering fast food, driving, shopping at the grocery store even when theyre using the toilet! So the number one priority before you begin all of your coaching sessions is to remove as many distractions as possible. Settle down in a quiet place so you can concentrate on your client. They deserve it (and so do you!) Sure, there are always emergencies and air conditioner repairmen and Fed Ex workers who show up in the middle of a coaching session. Those things are out of your control. Just be sure to eliminate the distractions you can. Avoid multi-tasking One of the biggest temptations while talking to someone on the phone is to do something else. It's a habit that people get into talking to friends and family. One of my friends says her best friend always calls while shes washing dishes. If you are on a lengthy road trip, you may be tempted to squeeze in a couple of clients while you're driving. Although it's tempting, don't multi-task. Its not only ineffective (read The Myth of Multitasking if you dont believe me), but it can be dangerous. Thats because if you do coaching right, youre encouraging your clients to talk to you about very important goals, dreams, and relationships in their lives. If you try to respond when youve only half- heard what they said, youre MUCH more likely to lead them astray! Running several companies, I have to admit Ive became a master at doing more than one thing at once but I have a hard and fast rule when it comes to conducting a coaching session. I never drive or do anything else at the same time. It's too easy to get distracted and miss the most important parts of the session.
  • 6. 6 Create a quiet place One of the best ways to avoid outside distractions is to create a quiet place in your home where you can take calls. Dedicated office space is ideal. Let your family know when you are in your quiet space, you really aren't available except for true emergencies. Close the door to keep pets from making noise or distracting you. You may also want to turn on a white noise machine to keep you from being distracted by noises in other parts of the house. If you don't have a dedicated office, set a designated time. Let the family know that between 7 and 9 p.m. on Wednesday you'll be in your bedroom and unavailable. That space will be off-limits to everybody else, unless there is a real emergency. Ditch the electronics Everybody is aware of the distraction that smartphones and computers have on our lives. Don't let them interrupt your coaching session. Here are some tips to help keep you from getting distracted with technology during your sessions: Don't use your phone or computer as a clock. Wear a watch or use a wall or desk clock. If you are us