Active listening: Nick’s lockdown diary
It has been several months now since the football season came to an abrupt end.
The last match for the U9s team that I coach was the day before my birthday in March. It was an exciting 4-4 draw, and both teams performed brilliantly.
One of the delights of coaching this age group is that win, lose or draw they are desperately keen to get on with the next game.
Cranleigh FC is an FA Chartered club, and there are important expectations about the way we behave.
For me, that is one of the reasons I get so much enjoyment from coaching these young players. They are a delight to work with, as are their parents and the players, coaches and parents of the other clubs we meet.
Respect is a keyword here and long may that continue.
One of the essential things that each Manager and Coach at our club has to achieve is to obtain a Safeguarding Children certificate from the FA, and these are subject to a three-year renewal.
Mine came up for renewal recently so last week during lockdown I spent some time updating it through a two-hour online course.
The key lesson from this is exercise was that we need to have the ability to actively listen to what these young people are saying to identify if anything untoward is happening in their lives both on and off the football pitch.
This is a lesson that can be carried over to all aspects of life, including the work that we do at Informed Choice.
We need to listen to what our clients are telling us actively. It’s all too easy to hear what people are saying but not to challenge their thinking.
Doing exactly that, challenging thinking, is one of the most valuable things that we do as Financial Planners.
After all, this is one of the ways that we can add value to our clients’ lives, hopefully preventing them from doing something sub-optimal with their money.
But we can’t challenge thinking unless we genuinely listen to what our clients are actually saying to us.
I also have to renew my Emergency First Aid for Children certificate, but that is a session I have to attend with practical exercises involved.
I’m glad I did that first time around because in one season I had to deal with both a concussion and a broken shoulder amongst my players.
I said they were a delight to work with; I didn’t say they weren’t competitive!