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Coaching others to coach
Coaching others to coach

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7.3 Use minimal encouragers

Imagine you are speaking but the people you are talking to remain completely blank and stand there stock still. You are getting no feedback from the others in the conversation that they are listening to you and understanding your message.

Words and sounds such as ‘mm’, ‘yeah’ or ‘OK’ play a vital role in active listening. These words and sounds signal for the talker to continue. Verbal signals and head gestures show comprehension and agreement, and they are known as minimal encouragers. One key tip is: nod more, it really gives encouragement.

Providing your coaches with small verbal and physical signals to feel more comfortable helps to smooth the flow of the conversation, and it is also part of the process of building trust and rapport. The trouble is we often forget to do it.