Effective listening skills are a pre-requisite of a good coach with a good coach spending far more time listening than talking.
When engaged in everyday conversation it is very easy to become distracted with our own thoughts and opinions. However, when you are coaching, the session belongs to the coachee and therefore you should put our own agenda, opinions and judgements aside.
As a coach, when you listen effectively you are:
Focused on the coachee and are not distracted by your own opinions, judgments or feelings
You are showing the coachee you are listening (see Active Listening Techniques)
You are listening to understand your coachee - so you are listening not just to the words being said but also for their feelings, emotions and even for what is not being said verbally
Giving the space to your client to talk freely and explore without fear of judgment or interruption
Aware of your coachee’s wants and needs so intuitively know what questions to ask