Have a conversation not an interrogation

What do newly trained coaches and my daughter have in common?

They keep butting in with a prepared question just after the other person is talking.

I noticed this the other day when I was assessing some newly trained sales coaches. They were so wrapped up in getting the right questions asked to achieve their GROW model or FISH model or PESOS model, or whatever they’d been taught, they forgot to listen to exactly what the other person was saying. They seemed to be butting in all the time.

My daughter does the same thing. I’m answering her question, she’s not really listening bless her, so she butts in with her next carefully thought through question.

The message is to let your customer or coachee finish and then wait a second before responding. Let them finish off first. Learn to love a tiny bit of silence. Make it a conversation not a series of questions.

I often use a traffic light in my head. When the customer or coachee is talking the lights are on red. On red I say nothing but listen. When they stop talking, the light goes amber, I pause. And when the lights goes green that’s when I can respond.

It’s so very easy to get caught in the trap of thinking about your next question rather than listening.