As a coach, it's all very well asking a question and listening to the answer, but for most of us, the listening is actually a bit of a problem.
We might all believe that we can listen pretty well, but in fact what happens far too often is that we ask the question, then we start to think about what we want to ask next, while nodding at the appropriate moments.
What a coach needs to achieve is the ability to listen with real acuity. To listen with more senses than just hearing, and to find a way to really tune in to what's going on in the mind of our coachee, because all too often the coachee isn't saying what's really on their mind, but rather saying a version dictated by what they want to think, and what they think you want to hear.
The good news is that we are all equipped to listen with true acuity, the bad news is that most of us have quashed this ability, and have decided not to trust it.
It's called instinct...or gut feel...or intuition, and it's the difference between an ok coach and a great one.
What we call instinct, or whatever, is actually our unconscious mind talking to us in the only way it can: by delivering 'feelings' about what we are hearing and seeing.
Unfortunately, we often ignore these feelings, and rely on our conscious mind, along with the sometimes dubious and nearly always incomplete answers our clients offer us.
So if you ever get the feeling that the answer you're getting to your question isn't the whole truth, or if you get the sense that maybe your client doesn't really believe what they're telling you, you have a duty not to ignore it, but rather to find a way to get beneath that answer, and find out what's really happening.
Ask the next question, or let silence do the asking for you, and you may well find that the real story is right there, just waiting to be uncovered.