Why Silence. Part 2.
Creating space with silence, so we are more aware, tuned in, and we can listen.
I started my coaching journey bringing solutions to my clients.
Before the session, I would think of all the tools and exercises I could bring to that person to help them achieve their goal when speaking in public or pitching potential investors.
I felt super pumped.
I would bring so much energy to the room, it was like a laboratory and we would try many different things to see what worked or not.
Great things came out of this method and I still use it.
However after a while, I felt my energy was depleting from coaching this way.
I would come out of the session wanting to cry or collapsing on the bus or the tube, exhausted.
I was giving every ounce of myself, with deep concentration and expelling everything I knew.
So at first, I thought: ‘What’s wrong with me.’ Then I shared it with people around me and also with my therapist, who used to be an executive coach.
He said coaching is not giving all you have, it is enabling the other to find resources for themselves.
We worked on how I could solve the energy issue in order to coach more sustainably. He gave me a great exercise to do at the beginning of each session, it was to ask one question and to listen to the client. To have a moment at the beginning of the session, where the coachee would speak and I could refocus, recenter and gather energy.
I am at ease with silences so if the client would not answer straight away, I would let the silence happen. Every time, the silence enabled the client to reach deeper and express their thoughts.
So rather than pre-planning frantically the session, I would stop, listen and let the other person do the talking.
Then I was able to support and guide the person, rather than have an agenda I needed to complete for the session.
The sessions became a lot more conversational, and the energy was spread across.
To speak as little as possible and to include more silence in our communication is difficult for many of us. So the tricks I try to include when speaking in public, or in coaching sessions are:
-Connecting to myself and others in silence before speaking.
-Asking meaningful questions throughout. (not unnecessary ones for the sake of it).
-Writing down exercises and long tasks so I don’t need to repeat them.
-Acknowledging when I need to reflect and take some time for myself.
-Marking the end of a topic with a long pause before going onto the next thing.
Incorporating silence while speaking, transfers the attention onto the other; it is creating trust and help to truly experience communication.
There is so much more to say about silence. So I’ll keep writing about it until there is no more to say.