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How do you deal with the elephant in the room?

Sometimes it's what not being said in the room.

How often do you think about what is not being said in a conversation? I think this is such a huge area that people miss in a conversation let alone how to deal with it.

In coaching, when you are trained well, you learn to pay attention to your instinct. Just for a second think about how many times you have walked away thinking “They don’t mean that”, or “I wish I had said”, I suspect probably lots of times. Furthermore, if you reflect a bit deeper, you will probably realise you have missed the key area in a conversation. This is so frustrating if you wish to support the other person, relationships being No 1 in both work and personal lives. It’s the relationship that counts, and it’s that which will make progress for someone.

Coaching is all about this area, what is not being said. This area is hugely important in communication, 55% instinct against 7% words. Yet we all pay attention to the language unless taught otherwise. Why is this? What is it about your feelings you tend not to share? Additionally, not sharing what you notice? A lot of the times it is usually that you don’t know to deal with this, how to question or intervene with this without offending.

How do you do this? How do you share something you are feeling or noticing or even sensing without alienating? I always say set the person up before you share what you notice. It literally is as easy as “Do you mind if I share” or “Do you mind if I tell you what I have noticed”.  This is also a great way to share the body language you notice. For example, leg kicking or foot tapping, eye contact, a shift in someone’s body after a question. The timing is also important for the timing and balance of the intervention.

In my coaching, I tend to look for this as a priority. Sometimes I don’t even listen to the story I stay focussed on my instincts, feelings, or body language. I have found this has been tremendously important for the breakthrough to get to another level with my clients. This is a skill that needs to be practised and one I really work on when delivering my coaching courses. We spend a lot of time working on this area in practice sessions with other delegates.

 

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