Ever had that conversation with your partner or work colleague where you can see an obvious problem but they don’t really want a fix for the issue? Watch the below video

 

 

Listening Modes:

Julian Treasure explains eloquently in his TED videos and book about several possible listening modes or positions. The video above with great humour explains the difference between reductive and expansive listening.

 

Reductive listening is listening “for.” Listening reductively seeks out solutions as in the above nail video. Men typically listen more reductively.

 

Expansive Listening is listening “for the journey.” Listening to the conversation meander with no sense of purpose. Women typically listen more expansively.

 

Coaching Listening modes:

A coach listens to you with the pretence that you have all the answers, a coach naturally listens more expansively. A good coach should not be a nodding dog though. A good coach does not simply listen for the journey they listen with intent of focusing the discussion.

 

A coach listens with support and with challenge rather than suggestion or reduction. To listen reductively implies to suggest fixes. A coach nudges you in the right direction by asking questions, challenging assumptions.

 

Although listening passively the coach is internally incredibly active in their listening. During a coaching session a very active and directing approach can be jarring for a coachee. The active listening a coach does is internal, listening to their thoughts, what approach, exercise or question will help this person learn. There are many different coaching approaches and picking the right one for each coachee is hard.

 

Conclusion

 

Inspect and adapt your listening mode

Inspect and adapt your coaching approach

 

For more on Listening you can watch me talk about it at agile Yorkshire below …….

 

 

References

Julian Treasure – Sound Business

 

 

 

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