The last few days have been really pretty busy for me, but I wanted to drop in and let you know what I’ve been doing. In the last 10 days or so I  have been:

  • going to some outside meetings and presentations
  • (still) editing the TableTalk shows into topical segment (You can listen to the recording of  Part 3 online now, too!)
  • writing proposals for workshops and other training events (potential) clients
  • touching bases with some friends of the site/program via phone and Skype (Hi, Ladies!)
  • designing an interview series with a Swiss cooperation partner
  • working on the next “Sisters in Europe – Who We Are”
  • putting the finishing touches on a journaling challenge for this site
  • developing a concept for a monthly radio show for Uncaged Birds™ (Have you added your voice to the survey? If not, please do!)

In other words, I’m busy in the background helping things take shape in the way I would like them to in the very near future.

Although I am dealing with a wide variety of things, when it’s time for me to focus on a coaching session it’s time for me to switch out of the “me” mode. All that outward activity and the inward thought processes have to come to a grinding halt. In coaching it’s not about me; it’s all about the coachee –  their values and struggles; their challenges and goals; their setbacks and triumphs. From being either busy getting my ideas out there to the world or getting them down onto paper, I become someone who is…QUIET.

Some who not only hears, but…LISTENS.

For the duration of my coaching session, this “active listening” encompasses my entire being. I cue into the nuances and pauses in my coachee’s speech pattern, and – if it’s not a telephone coaching session – their body language and eye contact:

  • What is s/he telling me between the lines? Not only what s/he’s saying is important, but what’s not being said as well!
  • What “blind spot” is s/he ignoring? How do I guide them to it and help them acknowledge it?
  • What question has remained unanswered, or – unasked? What are the hard questions that I must ask because s/he isn’t willing (or able) to ask or answer them?

Sometimes as I ricochet between a highly active professional phase and a coaching session, I catch sight of that essential part of “me” that’s the motor for everything I do in life. It’s the “me” of intuition – the inner voice – who is in touch with my life purpose and my own core values. And if I haven’t in a while, I know it’s time to me to simply STOP and listen again – this time to myself.

When was the last time you truly listened – to a loved one, a colleague, or yourself?

  • Were you present in that moment, or busy preparing your own witty/biting/sarcastic comeback?
  • Were you attempting to see the world from their perspective, or just waiting for a chance to add your say to the mix?
  • Were you open and porous like a sponge, or closed and solid like a clam shell?

Here’s what Iyanla Vanzant has to say about “listening”…


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