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Listening to Listen

 

- Oct 17th 2022

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My friends have always appreciated my listening skills — like any other friends, they are biased as well — because every time they shared with me their challenges in life, I make sure to hear them with interest. They state that, when I listen to them with full attention rather than just sit and judge them, it helps them feel better. Keeping in mind the famous quote from Stephen R. Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People— “We don’t listen to hear, we listen to respond,” I make a conscious attempt not to respond with my views after I listen.

However, in June 2022 when I started my journey to be a coach, my understanding of what ‘listening’ is has completely changed. When I first began watching few videos on how coaching is done, I wondered how the coaches are able to be so attentive and ask the perfect questions that uncover what’s going on deep within the the clients mind. Initially, these coaching videos seemed like no less than magic to me (to the extent that I believed coaches were mind readers). Soon came the time when our mentor coach asked to start coaching ourselves— the amount of stress it gave me was beyond words. I would sit there with my clients to hear what they were saying with a clear objective of asking a question after they finish sharing; I failed miserably.

With practice and guidance from my mentor coach I was eventually able to unveil the real meaning behind “Listening to Listen”. The coaching sessions became much more enjoyable- I relished the whole journey and most importantly, the transformation I went through. I have developed an inquisitive attitude towards my clients which has helped to reveal a different me: from a person who was always shy to have conversation with strangers, to a person who doesn’t mind having a conversation with strangers; from a person who wants to be left alone, to a person who wants to have conversations with peers and clients (initially forced though :-)); from a person who wants to conserve energy by speaking less, to a person who is willing to ask right questions with curiousness.

The journey has just begun and I am mindful that I have a long way to go till I imbibe the true essence of what it means to say “Listening to Listen”.

 

Author Name: Ramesh Mallya

Title of the Blog: Listening to Listen

About the Author (a short description of yourself): Introvert to the core – trying to be a good coach. By profession I am a technology leader focusing on Financial services as Domain.

Program Attended with CTT: ACTP

Reason for taking this program: I always wanted to do something with which i could help people achieve their potential. I like to work with people and this was a natural extension of what I like to do.

What worked for you: The best part has been getting to know so many wonderful people.

What benefits you got: I am able to take a step back and think about the situation at hand more holistically and objectively

 

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