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Intuitive Listen Behaviours

Ally Jones

If you're a coach you're probably familiar with the coaching model - 3 Levels of Listening from the The Coaches Training Institute.

If not, here's a quick lowdown:

Everyday listening
This is the most common and natural form of listening. You're listening to respond and are thinking about what the conversation means to you personally.

Active listening
You're wholly focused on the other person and listening intently. You check the meaning of their words and summarise back to make sure you've heard correctly.

Intuitive 'Global' Listening
This is where you use your intuition to assess the real meaning of what they're saying. You detect emotions and shifts in attitude by looking for cues such as body language and facial expressions.

Here are six behaviours - designed into the Wheel of Listening - that we designed:

Speak Last
Here you're creating the space for the individual to openly share their thoughts. You're looking for eyes that look away that may indicate they're thinking. They may also be using filler words that indicate they're thinking such as "um, ah and er"

If you notice this then don't finish their sentences and ask yourself 'why am I talking?'

Facial expressions
Reading facial expressions to see if they're aligned with what's being said. Look for them avoiding eye contact or blinking lots - it might indicate they're upset

It's super important your facial expressions also relay your message. So maintain eye contact and ask yourself if your expressions are telling them what you'd like them to hear

Thinking space
Silence is golden. Don't be afraid of it! You're creating a thinking space. Look for eyes that dart away from yours when they're thinking. This is their thinking expression! You may also notice a pattern in their body language

If you notice this hold the space and count to five before speaking.

Body language
Look for non-verbal cues that are transmitting a message, such as changes in posture or what they're going with their lips.

Use your body language to convey the message you're trying to get across. Signal empathy with smiles and open gestures, along with lots of eye contact. Remove any distractions so your phone lighting up doesn't cause your eyes to wonder.

Challenge bias
Check to see how your personal values and biases impact how you listen. If the other person thinks you're judging them you might notice a reluctance to speak or difficultly expressing themselves.

Adopt the principle of unconditional positive regard and listen without judgement.

Curious questions
Ask challenging and curious questions that gain insight and demonstrate your interest. Do this when they're making broad assumptions or are providing indirect answers.

You can do this by asking questions that demonstrate your curiosity e.g. tell me more, questions that uncover assumptions e.g. what makes you think that? and questions that challenge views e.g. what else could be contributing to that?

And there you have it. Our six-listening behaviours to demonstrate and practice global listening