In going through my training and coaching supplies, I ran into this inspiring and brilliant passage from Michael Ende's (author of The Neverending Story) Momo, written in 1973, all about listening:
What little Momo could do, was this: listen. That's nothing special, many readers might say, after all, everyone can listen.
But that would be a mistake. Really listening, the way Momo could, was something very few people could do. And the way Momo understood listening was completely unique.
When Momo listened, the dumb suddenly had clever thoughts. Not because she asked or said something that offered such clarity -- no, she simply sat there listening, concentrating fully and with great sympathy. All the while, she would watch the people with her big, round eyes, and they would feel great thoughts bubble up in them, thoughts that never would have occurred to them otherwise, thoughts she stuck in their minds.
When she listened, indecisive people suddenly understood exactly what they needed to do. The shy suddenly felt relaxed and full of courage. The unhappy and downtrodden became confident and happy. And if someone felt that his life was meaningless and a failure, that he was just another person amongst the millions, a person of no consequence whose life could be thrust aside just as any broken pot, if he visited Momo and told her all this, then even as he spoke, it would become clear to him that he was fundamentally wrong, that he was completely unique and indispensable to the world.
That's how Momo listened!
With the exception of feeling like someone else has "stuck" thoughts in your mind, this is exactly how you should feel when you have spent time with a great coach!