Tom Barrett

Jul 17, 2022

Why Silence is a Golden Choice For Coaches

The coaching relationship is a unique one. A non-judgmental, confidential space to explore your thoughts and feelings. This space is co-created, a container for reflection and dialogue.

At first, I thought space building was all about protocols and expectations, but since reading John Polemis's article about Holding Space, I understand more of the golden subtleties of silence.

If you ask a question and they seem to fumble on an answer, allow the silence to support their thoughts. When asking for lists of things (values, ideas, etc.) allow some silence to encourage more responses. Allow the silence to be a container to be filled.

The way Polemis describes silence as the container resonates with me. A powerful reminder that we can encourage, support and guide without saying anything.

When we think of silence as a container for dialogue yet to emerge, we also reframe the notion of a space we enter when we start a coaching session.

Silence helps us create a space between all the words for deeper reflection and thought.

I keep striving to be better in those moments when I can choose to speak or to interject with silence.

Tom Barrett

Writer, coach and education consultant. Helping educators and leaders of innovation enhance their practice.