I love it when I bump into text from books, or dialogue in films plays etc. which seem to have a significant alignment with coaching; here’s one from a classic book:
You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
― Harper Lee, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
This rings so true for me as a coach. So many times I have asked clients about others’ view point through questions like, “What would others say ….?” or “If XX was here right now what would be their view point on this?” Even using favourite fictional characters or admired people from the present day can get a useful response. From experience it is almost always relevant, or has something to say to raise awareness, consider other aspects of a situation.
For us too – sometimes its too easy to let our own perspectives or points of view contaminate our listening or our questioning. Our empathy can be reduced where what the client says is a clash with our own views or values. Everyone can on accessions get stuck in their own point of view, think they are ‘right’ to the exclusion of all other perspectives.
I was once told that empathy was, “Truly being able to see the world through the eyes of others.” So listen beyond the words, climb into your client’s skin and let awareness blossom for all.