When we talk about listening with curiosity, we're talking about conveying a genuine interest in what others are saying. An important and effective training strategy that leaders should engage with is adaptive communication. This means knowing when to act actively or directly, and when to step back and let the coach take the initiative. Communication is the most versatile training and leadership skill at your disposal.
Passive communication, such as listening and asking questions, helps coaches understand concerns and receive information. Active communication is used to move processes forward and provide feedback. For a leader to develop training skills, they must first learn to listen. Listening to what someone says is different from actually listening.
For organizational development to be successful, a coach must be able to listen to what the current issues are and then use this information to design a strategy. Being an active listener is also part of building trust. Listening is only part of the training process. The culture of coaching also requires communication skills.
To develop employees and improve performance, the coach and leader must be able to communicate with staff. Lack of directivity is the very essence of coaching and, without it, what happens in sessions may not really be training. The first important coaching skill you should possess is the ability to obtain clear, achievable, well-defined and motivating goals from your clients. I'll cover each of these 5 basic training skills in more detail in future posts, but for now, here's the list again with a little explanation.
In general, a coach supports his client in achieving specific objectives or solutions, processes of change and personal development. The mere fact that they are listened to carefully and that they are given time and space to reflect may be enough for many coaches to solve their own problems, without the need for further information from the coach. However, when you listen, you may have the feeling that nothing else is being said that contradicts what your coach is saying. It's not about the coach saying or advising; it's about the coach skillfully extracting what the coach already knows.
In training, a timely and simply worded question can eliminate barriers, unlock hidden information, and bring to light ideas that can change lives. Training in training skills for a leader can be exceptionally useful in these scenarios, but the opportunities where those skills can be used are not limited to these events alone. Training skills for managers to help team performance and improve the company's own operations. It's also a perfect way to check if the client is happy with the training or if there is something she wants to be different in the next session.
Being as vulnerable as participants demonstrates a leader's commitment to developing a culture of training that reduces power imbalances, which can make people hesitate to share their personal experiences.