The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand we listen to reply

I saw this sentence the other day on facebook. I think it is a great summary for power listening not only in coaching application but in our lives as well.

This reminded me of exercise I did with other peer coach back in my learning journey.

Each of us was supposed to tell the story from our life and first we were supposed to listen and ask questions “to reply”. We added our own opinions and searched for stories from our own lives that could be similar to story told etc. The conversation was going but did we learn anything from that? I was so focused on myself that I heard the other story but did I really understand it? Not really.

So we tried the second part of exercise: to listen to the same story but to really LISTEN. We started to reflect on what we were hearing, ask questions to go deeper and to learn more about the story. Great thing has happened as the story which at the beginning sounded like “the other day to day story” went to different level and completely different direction as in the first example.

This is not only good coaching exercise but the best way to learn more about the person w talk to. It is amazing what true listening does to making a real connection with other people.

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