The Purposeful Pause

As a Christian Life Coach or if you are considering becoming one, you may feel compelled to fill the gap of silent pauses during a coaching session because the quietness feels awkward.


Maybe you’ll catch yourself quickly asking another question or reframing the original question if the client doesn’t respond right away. If you’ve thought about doing this, you aren’t alone!


Silence can feel uncomfortable. Research reveals that we start feeling uneasy after just four seconds of silence during a conversation. Yet, it can take about ten seconds for us to actively listen and reflect before responding.


Silence doesn’t have to be awkward. In fact, it can be a powerful tool in a coaching session!


There is value in the purposeful pause in Christian Life Coaching and you can prepare your clients to anticipate them.



What Is the Value of a Purposeful Pause During a Coaching Session?


A purposeful pause is not the same as an awkward silence: it feels natural and well-timed.


You’re trained to ask thought-provoking questions, and a purposeful pause communicates to your client that there is no rush, what they have to say is valuable, and you honor their time to reflect and connect with the Holy Spirit for guidance.


Purposeful pauses during a coaching session help you, the coach, by:


  • Allowing you to get “out of your head,” be present with your client, and reflect on what the client has said.

  • Giving you space to connect with the Holy Spirit for wisdom.

  • Slowing down the pace of the session and creating a calm atmosphere for you and your client.

Purposeful pauses during a coaching session help your client by:


  • Slowing down the pace – creating a calm and peaceful environment to hear Jesus’s voice.

  • Building trust as you demonstrate respect for your client and a safe space to reflect.

  • Giving your client time for thoughtful reflection before responding to your questions.

  • Communicating that you value their time to process your questions as well as their responses.


Preparing Your Client for Purposeful Pauses


Building safety and trust are vital in a successful coaching relationship. And agreeing on expectations helps cultivate that. So, it’s helpful to inform your client about your style of coaching and the purpose of pauses during your coaching sessions, particularly if the client is new to coaching.


Being prepared ahead of time helps your client feel comfortable because they expect times of silence during a coaching session and understand how to use them.


Purposeful pauses create a sacred space for your clients – giving them an opportunity to “empty out,” reflect, meet with Jesus, and respond.


If you would like to learn more about the joys of Christian Life Coaching, we invite you to contact us at the Center for Christian Life Coaching for additional information.