As a life coach, you have to be effective with certain skills. We’ve all heard terms like deep listening, reading between the lines or listen for what is not being said. This is all true and useful, but sometimes is presented as something that is very complicated and challenging to learn. Let me share a different perspective on listening.
The normal practice of listening can be referred to as ‘lazy listening’. Lazy listening is paying attention to the first 10 seconds of a question or problem that someone shares with you. Whenever someone asks you a question or presents a problem that they need help with your mind usually does one of two things:
- It comes up with all kind of solutions to the question presented halfway through the presentation of the question itself.
- Sparks a need to respond. Most of us listen only to respond instead of listening to understand.
Now, when you are trained in the art of coaching with PRISM Certification, you probably notice these responses, absorb, and truly coach. However, most of our leaders are not trained in these skills and just follow their natural responses like mentioned above.
Through our coaching practice, PRISM Brain Map has found that a lot of people start with sharing their limiting beliefs before asking their query. Most people are not even aware that this is what they do. This query usually is just an effect of their limited understanding. Had that not been the case, they wouldn’t be stuck and have come up with a solution already. Let me share an anecdote to illustrate what I mean and to show how easy it is to practice lazy listening.
A common example in my experience as a life coach is people saying “This will never ever work,” without even trying it. Our natural behavior is to try proving them wrong and we usually end up in a battle of opinions. A better way is to create the environment for lazy listening by simply responding “How do you know that it won’t work?” For me, this is one of the most powerful questions because it helps to flush out the limiting beliefs behind the statement “This will never ever work.” Specifically, when you repeat that question a couple of times.
In essence, lazy listening is looking for limiting beliefs which are usually the true cause of someone going through the experience of getting stuck or jammed at something.
What’s the benefit? You become efficient in listening and more impactful in your responses to people. Imagine what might happen if you apply this skill in meetings, negotiations, etc. How much more quality will the attendants get out of these meetings?