Coaching for safety (Approved by IOSH) – Listening is everything

In coaching listening is everything – the gateway through which all coaching passes according to the authors of Co-Active Coaching. They describe three levels of listening as follows: –

Level l listening is the sort of commonplace, everyday listening we all experience; as you listen there’s an inner voice providing a personal narrative to accompany that of the talker. “Mm, that’s interesting, that reminds me of when I …”, “I wonder why she did that, I think I’d have …”, “When my chance comes, I’ll tell them the story about when I …” It’s listening from a personal perspective and it doesn’t lend itself to good coaching. A coach listening at level l is preoccupied with his/her own thoughts and judgments and is prone to direct the conversation according to his/her own agenda rather than that of the coachee. Coaching should be all about the coachee.

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