We often hear about the importance of proper communication. How we should talk more, to express our feelings and how we should work on our communication skills. And while this is imperative to our relationships and our wellbeing, one piece of the puzzle is often missing: listening. I believe listening is one of the most important yet underrated skills in our modern-day society.
Listening is often thought of as being on the receiving end of a conversation, as passively taking in information or letting someone vent. This could not be further from the truth. Listening is a skill, and a necessary one at that. In fact, it is often called active listening, as it requires focus and attention. Without it, conversations can fall short and lack depth. Listening is the cornerstone to all effective and impactful communication.
You can recognise a great listener by the following signs:
- They are present, focused and their attention is only on you.
- They ask open ended, non-leading questions.
- They reserve their opinion and instead seek to fully understand yours.
- They help you come up with your own solutions to your problems, not enforce their own.
- They make you feel heard and understood, without passing judgement.
For the person being listened to, active listening creates a safe space, full of trust and void of judgement. It dissolves protective barriers and allows them to open up, share and show vulnerability. It can offer new perspectives and a sense of clarity which is sometimes difficult to find by yourself. People often find that they already have the answers to their problems within themselves, and a good listener helps to uncover these.
This type of listening is not easy and does not come natural to many people, and it is not something we are currently taught how to do. However, it is, as any skill, something we can learn, practice, and get good at. A good health coach is extensively trained in the skill of active listening, it is an integral part of what makes health coaching valuable and successful.
Through impactful listening, a health coach guides you through a process of discovering your inner strengths and values, helps you tap into your deepest motivation, and set the goals that are most important to you. A health coach does not enforce his/her own opinion. Instead, they team up alongside you to help you find the solutions that work best for you.
To find out more about what it is like to work with a health coach, please read 3 unique ways you can benefit from working with a health coach or get in touch with us using the form below.
This article was written by Health Coach Isabelle.
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