Being a good listener is a skill that many people struggle with. However, it is an important skill, especially for a life coach. In fact, being an active listener is integral to being a successful life coach. Here are three tips for becoming a better listener.
- Be okay with silences. First, it’s important to be okay with silence. When you are having a conversation with somebody, especially if they’re talking about themselves, there may be lapses in the conversation. It is tempting to try to fill the lapses with words, but sometimes the best way to allow someone to open up further is to let the silences happen.
- Ask open-ended questions. Next, a good way to get a difficult client to speak more about themselves is to ask open-ended questions. Questions that only require a yes or no answer do not prompt further conversation or deepening of the subject. For example, instead of asking how your clients’ day was, you can ask what their favorite part of their day was or what they’re looking forward to.
- Don’t interrupt. Finally, when a conversation is flowing well, you may find yourself interrupting your client to add tidbits of information. However, if your goal is to be a better listener, you should try to refrain from doing this. The occasional interruption is unavoidable, but if you make a habit of it, the client may not feel like they can be open with you.
It can take years to develop good listening skills, especially if being a good listener isn’t something that comes naturally to you. Developing your listening skills is an important part of being a good life coach. After all, if your clients don’t feel like they can confide in you, how are you going to help them reach their highest selves? If you are interested in improving your life coaching skills, you should invest in a certified life coaching program.