Last updated on | Agile Coaching/Team Coaching

Levels of Listening During An Agile Coaching Session

by Luís Gonçalves
levels of listening


Hi guys, on my previous post I had the opportunity to present a good framework that helps coaches to develop their skills. This post is a continuation of that post; I want to write about the levels of listening during a coaching session. Another good two other blogs to support this one are:

And now the levels of Listening blog post.

Level I – Internal Listening
At this level, the coach is thinking just about him. During a coaching session, he thinks something like: “I hear you. I have some things to add to what you said”. The coach, hear what is being said by the coaches but we are concentrated on what it means to for us.

It´s about me, me, me, me. At this stage, everything that the coach listens to is about himself/herself. The coach might be present and might be playing some attention to a speaker, but everything that the speaker says is interpreted by the coach´s lens.

For example, during a coaching session never happened to you that you end up in a situation thinking for yourself: “Hoooo I know the solution for that, I have the experience to solve that”? In my opinion that is a good example of Level I., You should force yourself to be fully concentrated on the speaker.

Level II – Focused Listening
On this level, he coach hears the coach and accept him. He gets curious about what the coache says. He is more focused on what the speaker says. On this level, the coach can interpret the words on coaches context rather than on his own. The coach accepts what the speak says and also how is it said, it is not uncommon for the coach to use the same words or expressions back in reflection.

At this level, there is a strong connection between the coach and the speaker. The coach is fully concentrated on listening what the speaker says. At this stage, the coach listens and responds at the moment with questions and silence that help the speaker to move through his/her problems.

Level III – Global Listening
This level reveals a more global form of listening. The coach is focused on the coache but not just on his words; he can use his posture, emotions, and body language to help the coache. The coach perceives the environment around the speaker. He can place the speaker´s words, expressions, experiences and emotions in the speaker´s context.

Everything in the environment is used, including your intuition. At the level III, the coach uses everything available in the environment to perform his coaching session. For example, the speaker´s tone of voice, body language, emotions, etc., all these can be used by the coach. Like Lyssa and Michael say “this is where intuition lives”. This is the highest level of listening.

During a coaching session it´s normal to go trough different levels of listening, especially new coaches will spend a lot of time on Level I. It´s ok, but if they are aware they can always try to jump to level II. As soon they become more mature, they will spend less time on Level I and move towards level II and III.

Lyssa and Michael tell us that a good way to increase the time that coaches spend on level II and level III is to enter each conversation with a fresh mind. We never know what the person will say, so be fully concentrated on a speaker to fully understand him/her.


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Luís Gonçalves

About Luís Gonçalves

Luis Gonçalves is an Entrepreneur, Author & International Keynote Speaker that works exclusively with Senior Executives of 7 to 8 figure businesses on the deployment of his game changing ‘Organisational Mastery’ Methodology.


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