The Coaching Pause

Pausing is the simplest concept and the hardest to master for new coaches.

Effective public speakers end a sentence or phrase with a pause to allow listeners time to absorb their words. When you are nervous, you likely will do the opposite. We tend to speak faster and faster, rushing past the pauses.

The pause is key for a speaker, controlling the pause seems more in control. When a speaker is rushed or flustered they appear out of control and we question their command of the situation.

“The pause” signals something critical to an audience. It is proof that you’re both confident enough and comfortable enough in what you’re presenting, that silence itself underscores the points you make.

It signals that you are in a conversation with your audience and turns it from a one-way information stream to something more engaging.

Most people don’t pause enough. Their minds are consumed with the content they are to deliver.

Another benefit of pausing – it can calm your mind.

New coaches in our ADHD and life coach training classes struggle with this key factor in creating a strong coaching presence.

The pause in a coaching relationship is not about control, it gives a different signal all together. Pausing before you speak tells your client that you are actively listening to what they just shared. This is extremely powerful, by default, humans tend to start focusing on formulating a response before the other person has even finished speaking.

For students, it is even more valuable. Students are accustomed to being told what to do by parents and teachers often without their thoughts being truly considered.

Think back to yourself as a young adult, what would it have been like for you to be TRULY HEARD?

Giving space after you ask a question gives your coaching client the gift of time to sort out their own thoughts and go deeper before they respond. That pause also keeps you in the non-directive coaching presence. Coaching is not about giving advice and what YOU think your client should do. Coaching is co-creating strategies that they are ready, willing and able to act on and empowering clients to fully own their success.

Learn more about Empowering Students and how you can give hope to future generations.