One of the most powerful tools you have as a coach is being able to be silent. Most often, people try to avoid silences and a coach may feel the need to fill up the time or any empty voids with talking or asking questions. This absolutely is not necessary as silence allows the client space and time to process whatever they need to in the moment. In this space, significant breakthroughs or understandings about their situation and ways to move forward can occur.
Silence also allows the client to connect with their emotions and constant talking can be a deferral tactic to avoid going there. The importance of creating a safe, sacred space for the client to feel able to express their emotions without fear of judgement, opinions or criticism is not to be taken lightly.
Silence may mean the client has recalled a memory by entering deep into introspection. You may need to give your client time to reflect and digest what has just happened. If the silence continues for too long you may need to ask your client what they are thinking, or would they be okay to share what that has brought up for them. Silence can feel like a long time but be patient. In this silence, deep shifts can occur and any interruption from you could disturb that process. Be patient!
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