Posted on

Self-reflective (SR) Silence

When a coachee makes a discovery, the psychological breakthrough in perception, or catharsis, is wholly internal. Even if the coach is speaking, the contribution of the coach to the actual event is insignificant.

Silence (and specifically one form of silence in coaching: ‘self-reflective’ silence, SR-Silence) is therefore the dominant of the triad of the Principal Instruments (that include questioning and challenge). SR-Silence enables the coachee to think and feel (experience) without the coach sidetracking them. Watch the video for more .

The real work of coaching happens in the coachee’s episodes of thinking and feeling in which the coach is only the silent witness[1]. The coachee may be re-evaluating what they thought they knew, exploring a fresh perception on what they thought was real and fixed, developing new insight on a situation, understanding the depth and source of their motivation, and so on.

The art of the coach is not to know when to be silent but when to break that silence.

For an example of SR Silence

[1] McLeod, A.I. (2002). ‘The Power of Silence’ Effective Consulting  1, 8, 31-32