NON-JUDGMENTAL LISTENING IN TRUST BASED CONVERSATIONS
By Lynne Reyes, ACC
(Benchmark ACTP and Advanced Coaching Alumna)
Everyone, at some point, goes through rough patches in life. When a difficult situation results in emotions that are overwhelming, confusing, or painful, it disrupts life and one’s control over it. They may then find it hard to move forward. Oftentimes, it helps to have someone with whom one can unload his personal dilemma.
To have someone one can trust, who will listen attentively without passing judgment, and ask the right questions, is key in gaining the clarity a person needs to regain control over his situation.
In my practice in professional life coaching, I have heard many personal stories of hurt and hope, of one’s quest for his true purpose, of reclaiming order and harmony in life. The list can go on. Indeed, everyone has a story to share.
When it pertains to emotional hurt, the stories are, many times, kept deep inside where they are left unprocessed. They are ignored and buried into one’s unconscious only to resurface later and create big problems. This is called repression, a defense mechanism whereby unpleasure-provoking mental processes, such as painful memories, are actively prevented from entering conscious awareness.
When issues are repressed, they are likely to fester and then manifest themselves through a person’s uncontrolled moods or anger or adverse impact on one’s degree of productivity in the workplace or life in general. These effects of repression can adversely affect one’s relationships with his family, co-workers, and the people around him.
If unloading one’s issues is helpful in gaining mental clarity and developing actionable plans, what keeps many from being open about their personal struggles? What prevents them from talking and seeking someone who may be of help?
The desire and the capability to turn things around, to grow and attain aspirations, will always be present. However, there is that fear that whatever is revealed may not be acceptable to the other person and therefore, he will be judged. The unconditional acceptance of a person, who he is, and what he reveals is important in helping build trust upon which a person will feel safe to become more open.
A humanistic psychologist named Carl Rogers (1902-1987) theorized about unconditional positive regard. He believed that for a person to grow, he needs an environment that provides him with genuineness (openness and self-disclosure), acceptance (being seen with unconditional positive regard), and empathy (being listened to and understood). Without these, relationships and healthy personalities will not develop as they should, much like a tree will not grow without sunlight and water.
Roger’s unconditional positive regard is a technique he used in his non-directive, client-centered therapy. It involves showing complete support and acceptance of a person no matter what that person says or does, placing no conditions on this acceptance. That means the therapist supports the client, whether they are expressing “good” behaviors and emotions or “bad” ones. “It means caring for the client, but not in a possessive way or in such a way as simply to satisfy the therapist’s own needs. It means caring for the client as a separate person, with permission to have his own feelings, his own experiences. “, he explained.
I have personally experienced the impact of these concepts on non-judgmental, active listening, and have seen how Carl Rogers’ theory on unconditional positive regard is brought to life. To witness how this has helped build trust in an intimate conversation, enough for my own clients to bring their defenses down, expose their vulnerability and reveal their true selves is truly amazing!
It is awe-inspiring to discover and re-discover the human need for a genuinely listening ear, devoid of judgment and how much is accomplished through coaching sessions. Being able to collaborate with a client and journey with him through self-discoveries and realizations, a heightened self-awareness, new perspectives and seeing the resulting behavioral change make my role in this profession not only a very interesting one that is rich in learning but more importantly, a meaningful and fulfilling one!
Master Coach’s 5 Powerful Coaching Questions:
A good coach is able to ask powerful questions in order to draw out life-changing realizations from their coachees.
However, according to Master Coach Julius Ordoñez, the power of a coaching question lies NOT on how the question was crafted or asked but on how it landed with the coachee/client, depending on what the coachee needs in the moment the question was asked. In truth, no coaching question is better or more powerful than the other.
Here are some questions that you might find powerful today, depending on how they resonate with you at this point in your life.
- What do you want to happen in your life that is not happening yet?
- How does achieving this goal impact your life?
- What’s within you that’s stopping you from achieving what you want?
- Who do you want to become in this situation?
- What shift do you need to make now?
5 Ways to use Artificial Intelligence in Coaching:
Technology is accelerating faster than we can blink, and Artificial Intelligence is on the rise for nearly all professions. How can AI be used for coaching, today and in the near future?
- Online assessment and matching – AI is now being used to conduct online 360 assessments, enabling coachees /clients to be matched with coaches and specific business leaders or technical experts for mentoring within an internal network.
- Integration – Some software programs have allowed AI to integrate coaching into the Individual Development plans of high potential talents and leaders
- Mentoring and Peer groups – An integrated platform allows mentors and peer groups to give people feedback allow coaches to objectively measure behavioral change.
- AI based coaching through an algorithm – As AI bots get more and more intelligent, this space can be expected to grow as well. AI can monitor your communications and interactions online to help you become more effective, nudge you towards micro-learning articles and videos, and even remind you to be nicer to people!
- Collaborative learning platforms – These allow us to build leader-led online experiences and a strong internal coaching and mentoring network with minimal manual intervention.
Of course, there is nothing like human empathy, but the faster we learn to augment and supplement the human side of coaching with more efficient features of AI, the faster we become future-ready!
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Accelerated Coach Training Program (Foundational Course):
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Advanced Professional Coaching Certification Course:
Take your coaching skills to the next level and discover the tools that make a difference to high performance. Upon completion of this course, you gain specialist expertise that helps you develop personally and professionally — helping you better create sustainable change in the lives of your clients. Ready to develop deeper coaching skills and carve out a name in the industry? Join us in this program that teaches coaches new and critical skills and mindsets that will enable you to create a life-changing impact on your clients and make every coaching engagement a transformative experience. The program will take place on March 15 to May 25, 2023.
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MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR
The Benchmark Consulting family wishes you a Very Merry Christmas and an amazing, meaningful and fulfilling 2023 ahead! Thank you for your continued trust and support and we can’t wait to see you next year!