Not every organization embraces using coaches but more and more people are using coaching skills in the workplace. Both coaches and managers using coaching tools can hone their coaching skills.

During a recent conversation that was ostensibly about an upcoming presentation, I was reminded about the role that Sensing plays as a coaching capability to be developed. The person was focusing all of their energy on getting the words exactly right and in including every point. The further they went in this direction the more their posture shifted … eyes downcast, voice low and mumbling and shoulders slumped. A winning presentation would depend more about being in a resourceful “state” than getting the words perfect.

This person knew the material so well they could have written a book about it so what was the story that the body was telling?

Noticing these changes provided an opportunity to identify what was going on and to shift the focus to where it needed to be in order to get a good result.

It is easy to think that content is king and to pay all of our attention to what a person is saying. What usually matters more is focusing on being present and using sensory cues… such as breathing, changes in tonality, posture or coloring.

These changes may indicate an opening worth investigating with genuine curiosity. If we are trapped in only following the logic of the thread of what the person is saying we could miss the moment. Openings are the real royalty.

In an insightful article on coaching in organizations Michael Bungay Stanier points out the value of “just in time” laser coaching. Openings don’t take an hour to notice. Coaching is more about how you pay attention and not at all about having the answers. Call on the Sensing function to focus your attention in the moment.

Category: Coaching
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