I know the importance of suspending judgment and I know how critical it is to remove ones own’s biases, interests and concerns from coaching conversations.
Yet despite all that knowledge, I know there are times when I fail on some or even all of these fronts.
And this is especially the case when I am manager as well as coach, because the manager as coach role carries inherent limitations as to the extent of objectivity that can be obtained.
Nevertheless, I was struck today by how powerful true listening can be – when I was the one that needed to be listened to.
I asked to see one of my bosses to discuss a tricky situation that cut across work and personal matters and I was treated to a masterclass in empathetic, engaged listening.
No promises were made. No solutions offered. But, intelligent questions were asked and my answers were listened to and heard.
Was the problem solved?
Did I feel better able to manage it?
Yes I did.