Still Listening? A perspective on Amanda Riding’s workshop.
It was a joy to spend a day with Amanda Riding at her “Still Listening” workshop last month. Who would have thought that connecting with my purpose and intention would have such a profound effect on my ability to listen? And not just listen, but listen with a stillness that I have rarely encountered as listener or talker. Tricky, awkward, and uncomfortable at first, the exercises Amanda invited us to experience led us into a new level of listening and a deeper connection and uninterrupted, non-judgemental, unguided thinking. Thank you Siobhan and Louie for those minutes while we worked together.
Amanda brought a purpose and playfulness to the day setting the scene, and spreading some ideas out for us to explore and through that exploration, allowed me to learn what was useful to me. I particularly valued how the check in at the start of the day connected with the whole day. I used the same check in the following day with a coaching class I teach, and found that same value of connecting my energy, purpose and intention with the work of the day brought me into harmony with the content and my role as facilitator. The class commented on this also.
My biggest learning for the day was how not listening with complete stillness, can be distracting my clients thinking process. Even a nod, a quiet “uhhu” or an encouraging “go on”, can be a potential judgement or flagging of direction. I came to the workshop thinking that as a coach, I am a good listener, and can hold the space for my client’s thinking, and I can. However, there is another level available to me and my clients that is truly spacious and without judgement, in which we can both let go of what we know and move into the unknown and emergent parts of Otto Scharmer’s “U”.
This was my first CPPD event following my graduation from the Supervision Academy Diploma, and provided both insight and reconnection. I’m really glad I signed up for it.
Doug Montgomery PhD, PCC, APECS Accredited Executive Coach, CSA Accredited Coach Supervisor.