Listen to Understand, Not to Reply

Recently a client took great delight in telling me the story of a meeting he had with another business coach.  As soon as the meeting started, my client declared he was already working with a business coach and that he was happy working with that coach.

My client laughed when he recalled that the business coach looked like the air had been let out of the tyres of his car.  Whilst the coach was clearly deflated, he went through the motion of trying to sell his services to my client.  However, the presentation lacked the passion & want to build a relationship with my client.

Whilst this gave me a real boost around the effectiveness of the coaching I was delivering, I responded with the question:

What was the opportunity the other business coach missed in that meeting?

 The client stared at me blankly and stumbled to find an answer.

I responded the opportunity missed was instead of being there to sell coaching services, the coach should be looking at my client and his business holistically.  In this way, the coach would be looking at how he could help my client develop solutions to the challenges he was facing regardless of whether that involved coaching.

My approach when faced with a similar situation is to listen to understand the needs of the other person.  In this way my response will be seen as authentic.   My experience is that people will respond more openly when they feel I am truly listening to understand where they are coming from.  In this way, they are more likely to embrace the solutions and suggestions I put forward as I understand & respect their point of view.


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