As an accredited coach the use of silence can be a powerful coaching skill. Remember the 80-20 principle. Your client should be talking 80% of the time and as the coach you should be listening 80% of the time. Having that silence and allowing your client the time to think, is a very important skill. It may take a while for you to feel comfortable and to master it, but it will allow your client time to reflect on their thoughts. Don’t be tempted to dive straight in with another question. You may have just asked the most powerful and thought-provoking question of your client.
Allowing silence gives them the space to think through their response fully and to consider what answer they have already given.
Giving your client the space to think, will let your client feel listened too and they will be more likely to open up. You will also have more time to consider what powerful questions to ask next.
Tips to use silence in coaching:
• Become aware of your own comfort with being quite. Practice putting a few seconds of silence into your social conversations allowing others to talk further.
• If your client does not respond immediately to a question, don’t be tempted to dive straight in. Wait a few seconds before rephrasing or clarifying that your question has been understood.
• Pause for a few seconds after your client has responded to your question to see if they have anything further to add.
• Use silence effectively and leave a few seconds more than your usual pause if you have asked a particularly thought-provoking or challenging question.
• Use this silence to really listen to your client and what they are thinking, feeling, saying or not saying.
Silence is a powerful coaching skill.
Suffice it to say that coaching is all about the client getting results. The client needs to empty out and needs an environment to do so.
I hope you found this post useful and that it will assist you in being the best coach you can be. Using silence as a coaching tool is a skills that takes time to develop. Keep practicing and keep your attention on your client.
If you want to find out more about the coaching courses offered by Coaching with NLP, simply contact us today and we will be more than happy to help.