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The Power of Listening

“the quality of everything human beings do, everything – everything – depends on the quality of the thinking we do first.” Nancy Kline.

I have just read an article about the sad lack of emphasis placed on the ability to listen and understand others or to question openly without judgement, in political systems across the world.

From my experience, it's not just the political system which lacks a focus on listening and understanding another point of view. It seems to be only too frequent across business.

The power of coaching is in creating time to think. For me, it starts with listening quietly, without judgement, really attentively to what the client has to say. Then, asking questions to clarify and perhaps encourage new thinking. Once the problem is really clear, and only then, it’s time to challenge. What if we looked at this in a different way? What's the evidence for the point you're making? Could there be a different way? How would it feel to explore that possibility? Okay, we've got something that just might work. How about we carry out an experiment? As an experiment it’s not about being right or wrong. It's simply an opportunity to observe what has happened. To sit back and reflect. From here adjustments may become clear, and it’s time to try again. Through this iterative process great progress can be made.

This may all sound very ponderous, relaxed and not really getting to the point. But in fact, it leads to much better solutions, time and time again. If this sounds interesting, reach out to me for a free initial trial session. Let's see whether somebody really listening, asking the right questions at the right time, and keeping quiet at the right time so as not to interrupt your thinking, really can help you move forward.


Mark Goyder on LinkedIn – “A little less wishful thinking, a little more listening please”.

Nancy Kline. More Time to Think. (2015). Cassell. London. UK.

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