January 25, 2015
Eyes closed during a coaching session?
This process of digging deeply requires that clients feel at ease in the conversation and that they take their time to think deeply about those situations of past success. As coaches we can do a lot to make clients feel comfortable and to give them time to calmly search their memory. One helpful thing is to acknowledge what clients say so that they will feel taken seriously. Another thing is to let them choose whatever they want to talk about so that they will feel autonomous. Finally, we give them all the time they need by not interrupting them when they are thinking and by encouraging them to take their time. We emphasize that our questions can be difficult which makes it normal for them to think about their answers deeply and calmly.
A new study (Nash et al., 2015) suggests that there is another thing which may be useful to help clients remember past successes. In an experiment participants were better able to remember details from a film they were shown when they closed their eyes. With their eyes closed they answered questions about that film 23% more accurately than participants who did not close their eyes. Another interesting finding in this study was that participants felt more comfortable when closing their eyes when researchers had first built rapport with them than when they had not done that.
Question: Would it be a good idea for clients to close their eyes during coaching sessions in order to remember past successes more easily?