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Coaching Skills: Non-directive coaching

The first reading for this section of the materials is a chapter from Bob Thomson's book ' First Steps in Coaching'. An MS word version of the text is available here.

The chapter invites you to consider the continuum of directive to non-directive coaching and place activites in order from one end to another.




Activity: Here is a list of interesting quotes on listening from different authors. As an exercise, read through the quotes and pick out one or two phrases that particularly resonate for you.

Anyone who cannot listen long and patiently will presently be talking beside the point and be never really speaking to others. There is a kind of listening with half an ear that presumes already to know what the other person has to say. It is an impatient, inattentive listening, that despises the other and is only waiting for a chance to speak and thus get rid of the other person.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

Attentive listening is creating space – it is constructive. It is not sitting passively in front of a verbal water jet. It is actively applying often intense concentration to facilitate the person we are listening to, to help them move on in their journey.

Michael Mitton, A Heart to Listen

Why is being heard so healing? I don’t know the full answer to that question, but I do know that is has something to do with the fact that listening creates relationship.

Meg Wheatley, Turning to One Another

During my conversations with the people most important to me, silence has become my favourite sound, because that is when the work is being done. Of all the tools I use during conversations and all the principles I keep in mind, silence is the most powerful of all.

Susan Scott, Fierce Conversations

To relate effectively with a wife, a husband, children, friends, or working associates, we must learn to listen. And this requires emotional strength. Listening involves patience, openness, and the desire to understand – highly developed qualities of character. It’s so much easier to operate from a low emotional level and to give high-level advice.

Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Now, please share any comments or reflections in the page comments section below.