Good Listening Skills – Please Explain…

A good listener really understands what they heard!

Unfortunately, many leaders lecture without having a good understanding of what the real problem is because they focus too much on the solution rather than understanding with clarity.

Leaders with good listening skills often ask “Can you explain what you just said?” or “What do you mean by that?”

Since there are so many distractions in our lives a coach must make a concerted effort to really understand how a team member is feeling or what they are seeking a solution to!

It is easy to criticize or come up with a recommended course of action without a real understanding of what the real problem is.

Listening Skills = Ask Questions

A person with good listening skills asks more questions than they talk!ListeningSkills

A good coach will find the 10 second rule very helpful in conversations with team members.

While a coach is often talking more than 10 seconds at a time it is easy to do all the talking and turning it into a lecture.

My experience has been that when I ask the right questions I am often wrong in my original interpretation of the issue needing a resolution.

When you use non-judgemental questioning you will get to the real root of the problem.  Summarizing what your interpretation is then ending in a question that seeks feedback as to its accuracy is a good practice.

Sometimes it is as simple as saying “This is what I heard…. is that what you meant?”
Some of my favorite “end it in a question” lines during a coaching session are:

  • Could you please rephrase that?
  • I wonder if you could say that in a different way.
  • Could you be more specific, please?
  • What do you mean by…?
  • Would you elaborate on that , please?
  • Can you share an example of what you mean?
  • Could you put it differently, please?

Once you are both on the same page then a discussion on the solution will be effective.

Take the time to fine tune and practice listening skills by asking a lot of questions! You will be a better coach for it!

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