COACHES do you LET your CLIENT THINK?
Updated: Sep 12, 2018
Stick with me - most of us don't ...
We loved this work and brought it into our own work with clients and of course, coaches.
Today I was on a call with a coach who's leaning into attending the CFJ Coaching Success School starting in January. We talked about the peer coaching that takes place in between the classes every month - and I shared that the peer coaching will be done in a very specific way - the Nancy Kline Time to Think approach.
LISTENING DONE WELL is GENERATIVE
This model requires the coach to be silent for almost the entire time one is coaching, with questions asked only when the client indicates they are done.
Done doing WHAT?
Nancy Kline puts forward a radical question:
HOW do you KNOW that what YOU are about to SAY is more IMPORTANT than what your client is about to THINK?
We actually don't.
As Michelle would acknowledge about herself and coaches in general, "we like the sound of our own voices."
LEARN to NOT SPEAK
So, after our Nancy Kline experience we decided we'd include this in our work with coaches. While we never said, (nor do I say this now), "This is how people should coach", there's great value in getting experience with it - because as coaches, our ability to be silent and create a container where people can think and be in their own inner guidance is what clients are, in large part, paying for.
Here's what Michelle wrote, with great clarity after our last Nancy Kline experience together:
In our training with Nancy Kline this week, we are giving each other lots of time, space and generative attention so each of us can think for ourselves - we are creating the ideal conditions so that the mind can do it's magic. And, we have been dazzled by the depth of transformation and also the speed at which the mind can work - given the proper conditions.
We are also noticing how much we've become a "think for" society - we all tend to look towards others (counselors, coaches, teachers, friends, parents) to do our thinking for us. To at least give us a clue about what they think we should do. And, how challenging and also exciting it is to take full responsibility for our own thinking.
Finally, I'm moved by the experience of knowing what another human being truly thinks. And, I'm wanting to know even more deeply the truest and most independent thoughts of those closest to me - especially my husband and my kids. After all, what an incredible expression of love to be authentically interested and fascinated by the thinking of those we care about and what an experience of intimacy to privy to another human's thinking.
This is my third consecutive year training with Nancy- and as usually I am deeply moved and changed by the experience.
Peer coaching this way is rigorous. There's no interrupting - because as Nancy Kline says, "When we interrupt we are murdering people's thoughts."
As someone who has murdered people's thoughts regularly, anytime I get practicing this is a good thing.
Do you regularly murder people's thoughts - your clients or those close to you?
Maybe it's time to practice a new way.