When you ask someone one of the thought provoking Questions, silence sometimes follows. Unending silence. I mean sometimes lasting three or four seconds and a coach should be aware of this—mindful silence and getting used to the power of silence.
Everything is desperate to fill the void in those slow-motion “bullet time” moments. Look past your angst. Silence often indicates accomplishment.
He may be the type who needs a moment or three to formulate an answer in his head before giving it. So you’re granting him that space.
Or he may be the type of person who responds without thinking of what to say.
Either way, it means he’s looking for the answer. He is literally expanding his capacity.
Hold your tongue, and be silent. It will be uncomfortable, but I know that the effort will yield a payoff.
Silence often indicates accomplishment.
It’s Your New Habit
when this happens
The truth is, he is not prepared to give an answer for two seconds.
Putting another question into the space, a new way of asking it, or nothing but empty words…
Breathe, relax, and keep quiet for another three seconds.
The power of silence to enhance your coaching presence
Take a moment. Release your hands, look down, and breathe. “Doing” mode stops, but “being” mode will begin, Simply being present
Everything is shifting as you follow my simple guidance. As your heart rate has slowed, your body has relaxed, your mind has settled, and your awareness has opened.
What have you noticed? Have you ever felt any tension, tingling, or softness in your body? In your surroundings, you may hear humming, buzzing, talking, or movement. Or, perhaps you notice the stream of thoughts, images, questions, ideas, or any gaps in-between?
We notice our experience only when we stop, and then focus on it. Providing ourselves with space to open up is essential in tuning into our experience and receiving insight and wisdom.
As coaches, we may know how powerful silence can be. Allowing a client to explore and develop a deeper understanding. It might feel strange the first time a client watches, expecting a reaction. Resisting the urge to jump in with the next question (or a well-meaning suggestion) takes practise and over time becomes an important coaching tool.
What then is “mindful silence”? Surely all silence is mindful, isn’t it?
Think of what happens when you open up to that silence with a client. Is there anything different you notice?
The mind may be quiet and you’ll get a feeling of emptiness or spaciousness. Creating silence in coaching may seem like your ultimate goal. Both you and your client will have space.
I believe that in order to build our influence and grow as a coach, we should see silence from a different perspective.
The quality of silence differs. There is a wide open expanse, free from external noise, where we can be left with pure silence. Mindful silence follows. The richness of a mindful silence is when we explore details of our present moment experience in a curious and non-judgemental way.
As with mindfulness, mindfulness-based meditation is not about emptiness. Calm is not the objective. It is not zoning out. It is about becoming closely acquainted with everything that occurs. “mind-body-activity” Initially, the noise can feel like it’s coming from inside the device. As we hold it, however, we notice how everything moves, and from that we learn a lot.
Mindful silence is full of sensations and insights. We can get closer to the wisdom that is held deeper levels of awareness. mindful silence is a conscious engagement with our experience without feeling the pressure to change, analyse, or work it out Instead of engaging in an internal dialogue with them, tune in to the thoughts, feelings, and sensations as they arise and acknowledge them before letting them go.
The ability to notice mental and bodily activity without getting involved is called mindfulness. Over time, non-engagement (perhaps paradoxically) means we connect with ourselves and our client.
In coaching, you can practise the concept of mindful silence and pressing pause on a daily basis. Doing something repeatedly tunes you into your own and others’ radio frequencies. Make use of every opportunity to take a breath and to sharpen your senses.
Silence has tremendous power. Sometimes, Power of Silence is Coaching
All managers have previously been coaches. Agile coaches and Scrum Masters are leaders in directing people toward better work options. The conflict must exist in order for lasting solutions to be found within the team or organisation. Thus, the agile coach should manage conflict so that resolutions can be reached. Talk, not the coach.
Mindful Silence as a Technique
Retrospective meetings are times when silence can be powerful. Questions about improvement arise, and this requires allowing time to think, providing space for solutions to emerge.
“What delayed this project for the sprint review this morning?”
Fill in the gap! Clear your mind and wait for the team to respond. even though you know the answer, fill in the space is driving you crazy Make sure you’re listening to see if the information helps the question, or if it’s just filler. Steer any extra words to the question.
That’s interesting information. That complements our half-written storey nicely.
Also, you’re encouraging the team to focus on the current issue and find their own solutions. Powerful!