Cognitive coaching involves a significant level of expertise in a variety of areas. What’s unique about the approach of cognitive coaches, however, is that they don’t prefer to share expertise or give advice. They instead rely on deploying their listening and communication skills to help you reach a point where you can comfortably decide your next course of action.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this piece with three useful cognitive coaching skills you should consider developing.
When in dialogue with someone, it’s only human to expect them to listen to you. You wish to be heard, and they wish the same. One of the most effective ways to do this is and validate that you’ve listened to them is to paraphrase what they’ve said.
In order to paraphrase, you need to listen carefully and intently. Focusing on what they’re saying means suspending your inner voice, which may be occupied with some other matter altogether or may be preparing what to say next.
This may sound easy. It isn’t. Human beings are more easily distracted than you may think. And we like to talk about ourselves and our desires and our worries more than anything else. This impacts our ability to listen. So, it’s important, going into this, that you understand paraphrasing requires commitment, discipline, and practice.
So many of us are afraid of silence because our anxiety tricks us into believing it’s awkward. This urges us to fill gaps in conversations with some pithy comment that often makes things even more awkward. Silence, or rather pausing, is integral to a good, effective, and productive conversation. By knowing beforehand that you’re going to pause to say what you have to say, you avoid tuning out during the other person is talking. Pausing allows both participants to become more reflective.
Body language may be as much as 90 percent of what we’re communicating. So, it’s safe to say that what your body communicates during a conversation can speak louder than your actual words. Moreover, our tone of voice may also send mixed signals when complimenting or praising someone.
In the context of cognitive coaching, this means you should lean slightly forward when sitting to signal interest and engagement. Maintain reasonable eye contact and use affirmations like nodding.
If you’re located in Palm Springs or Palm Desert, mIND oVER mATTER is the ideal place for life coaching and cognitive coaching. Our cognitive coaching services can help you with career changes, cognitive improvement, habit changes, and dealing with transitions in your life.