by Sarah Haté (France)
In my experience as a life coach, one of the keys that everyone needs to work on is communication, and especially positive, non-judgmental communication. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told by my clients that their partner/family/boss/colleague doesn’t understand them, take the time to listen, show interest in what they’re doing… This leaves them feeling misunderstood, judged, and even helpless, and when they come to me, they feel like they’ve reached a point of no return. Working on clarifying their communication opens them up to much better and more fulfilling relationships
The first thing I normally do is to ask my client to name their biggest difficulty when communicating. Is it a problem with speaking? With listening? With understanding or being understood? With expressing their feelings and/or emotions?
Once we’ve got a bit clearer at the root of the problem, I asked them to think back to the last time there was a breakdown in communication with someone, and to describe what happened and what they could have done differently. This opens them up to different possibilities, and helps them to start moving away from feeling like a victim and towards taking their share of responsibility. As the saying goes, it takes two to tango; so in the event of a breakdown in communication, both parties are responsible, maybe one more than the other, but it’s never 100% one person and 0% the other.
A great coaching technique that can be used when revisiting a past experience and seeing it through someone else’s eyes is the Meta Mirror. This is an exercise that brings together a number of different perspectives, that of the client, that of the other person involved in the breakdown of communication, and that of an independent observer looking at both people impartially.
Source: iCN Issue 26 (Life Coaching); pages 30-32
About Sarah Haté
Sarah Haté is a trainer, public speaker and certified professional life coach. She has a passion for giving her clients the space they need to reconnect with themselves and rediscover their authentic self, in order to create a magical, positive life for themselves and their loved ones. She has recently created a private, online community, Walking the Path to Confidence, to empower sensitive men and women seeking a better life balance and more fulfilling relationships.
Sarah created So Free Coaching, to offer one-to-one sessions, group sessions and workshops. As she lives in the south of France, her clients are both French and English-speaking. She trained in Development Coaching with NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) with Simply Changing Limited, and recently obtained her Level-1 certificate in EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques).
Walking the Path to Confidence: www.facebook.com/groups/619590108500061
Simply Changing Limited: www.simplychanging.co.uk/