There are plenty of coaching programs with all kinds of techniques that come and go. But some coaching techniques are timeless. And one of the most important of these coaching techniques is this: Listening. When we truly listen, magic can happen. Deep listening can help us enter someone’s world in a very beautiful and perceptive way, while giving us brilliant hints on how to best serve them. Join Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating as he adds a little spice and surprise to the fine art of listening. Even if you’re not a coach, you’ll get some great insights from this fascinating IPEtv video.
Hi, I’m Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.
Today’s Topic: Timeless Coaching Tips – Part 1
And the tip we’re going to talk about today is this:
Now, I’m going to talk about listening as a skill in the context of coaching or counseling or in any helping profession. But please know that this skill is certainly applicable for anyone who wants to be a more effective communicator in the world.
Vitamin L – listening – is at a surprising premium these days. I think it’s a rare commodity. It doesn’t happen nearly as much as it ought to. The world is filled with a lot of noise. We are under a constant state of media chatter, sound effects, talking heads, opinions, and obnoxious music, and just about everyone, it seems, wants their voice to be heard. There’s a massive battle that goes on in the advertising universe – and that battle is for our attention.
We live in a world where it seems like everyone’s talking, but is anyone really listening?
When it comes to any coaching or counseling practice, listening is your number one skill.
It comes first and foremost above anything and everything else.
Listening may be the single most valuable thing that any practitioner could ever offer.
Think for a moment of the times when you’ve gone to the doctor’s office or to any health professional, and you noticed that they were busy, stressed, and needing to move through their session with you quickly. Can you recall the feeling of what it’s like to realize that we are putting our most precious gift – our health – into the hands of another person who’s not fully listening to us and paying attention? They’re distracted. They are not fully with us. They have a lot on their minds. They’re not really listening.
If there is no true listening, then there can be no true insight.
If there is no true listening, then there can be no true assessment and diagnosis.
If there is no true listening, then there can be no true connection.
If there is no true listening, then there is no real value happening in that moment.
Listening is everything.
And by listening I mean giving your full 1000% attention to the person sitting before you. True listening means you have trained your mind to let go of distractions, and the person sitting before you during your session is the most important person in the world. No one else exists. They are the most important thing in your life. And equally important to them, you are the most important relationship they have in the moment because they’re putting themselves in your hands.
Listening means that you step out of all the chatter in your mind and you let go of your agenda. Listening means that we fully open ourselves to the person sitting in front of us and receive them for who they are. Humans come equipped with a lot of preconceived notions, prejudices, agendas, beliefs, judgments, and an internal conversation that will keep on going unless we push the pause button.
True wisdom begins when we quiet our own minds and receive another person on their own terms.
Can you listen without judgment?
Can you listen without trying to change people?
Can you listen without being in a hurry to make something happen?
Can you listen in such a way that when the session is over and if a third party came and asked your client how the session went, that client would say “Wow, I really felt that I was heard. I felt as if she really cared about me. I felt as if he really took the time to listen and hear exactly what I was saying. I felt that she really understood me. I trust this practitioner because I feel she really focuses on me.”
This often comes as headline news for a lot of professionals, but for most clients, the thing they need most is to be heard. If you truly hear me, and you listen to my challenge, and you understand my complaint, and you’ve asked good enough questions about my lifestyle, my diet, my history, my world, and all the important details – then I know you’re doing your job in the best way possible.
People aren’t dumb, for goodness sake. They know when you’re not paying attention. They know when you’re distracted. And in any job or any task in life, the more distracted we are, the less effective we are.
The next time you’re in a session with the client, or if you’re not a health professional, the next time you’re in a conversation with someone you care about – see if you can drop into listening like never before. See if you can listen beyond the words, and into a deeper place. See if you can clear your mind like never before and let go of how things have to look, and how things have to work out, and how the session has to go – and simply listen deeply to what your client is saying, to what they want, to what they’re feeling, and to what they might be saying beneath their words.
This is the royal road to becoming the best practitioner you can possibly be.
And it’s the royal road to becoming an effective, caring, compassionate and insightful human being on planet Earth.
From there, the magic happens.
Of course, this is one of the many, many strategies that we teach here at the Institute for the psychology of eating in our premier professional program – our Eating Psychology Coach Certification Training.
So if this whets your appetite, I hope this was helpful my friends. In the comments below, please let us know your thoughts. We love hearing from you and we read and respond to every comment!
Become a Mind Body Eating Coach
Now enrolling for October 2023.
Make real, lasting change - in your life and the lives of others using eating psychology coaching tools.
Subscribe to The Psychology of Eating Podcast
Get notified when new episodes go live.