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Graham Hooper – More Listening

Driving Instructor Trainer Blog for Driving Instructors

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In the last article on listening, I touched on Active Listening and how we should reflect on our listening.


Some questions you could ask are:

  • How attentive were you?
  • Did you show enough interest in your client?
  • How aware of your non-verbal communication was you?
  • When you have summarised or paraphrased how accurately did you do it?
  • When you reflected to the client on what they had said were you empathetic?
  • Did you acknowledge their feelings?
  • Did you check your intuition to see if the client was aware of their thoughts or did you misread their meaning?

Some tools are useful when listening: the 80/20 rule is a good measure when holding a coaching conversation; the client should have around 80% of the conversation and the coach only 20%. You should be purposely listening and using silence to allow the client time to think. Included in that is listening for meaning.


If you go back to my last article, this is when you the coach are listening at level 5. Listening at level 5, helps you gain an understanding and appreciate the clients’ experiences. Building rapport, using good eye contact, open body language, and matching their body language
creates an environment to allows them to think deeply. You can also use mismatched body language if the client becomes excitable and can’t focus. If you speak louder, it can bring excitement and energy; alternatively, if you speak quieter, it can bring calmness and relaxation.


The environment is also important in creating an equal space – ensuring there is a comfortable temperature; – and staying alert and focused is necessary for both parties to create that relationship while you the coach can listen, and the client can talk.
Sometimes just simply nodding and using encouraging noises like uh-huh will help keep the client engaged.


Probably the most important thing that you can do when listening is to manage the silence to create thinking time, reflection time and serenity.

Finally, don’t forget to breathe, you can use breathing to calm your client, calm yourself and aid your focus.

I hope you are enjoying these articles and I look forward to any feedback that you would like to give.

Graham Hooper

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