One of the most important pair of skills in delivering your work as a sports support scientist is;
Questioning and Listening
Questioning is important to work your way through the maze of information to find the right doors to go through. A good question surfaces the most important information. It unlocks possibilities for you to act upon.
Questions should be;
- Perceptive to the situation and their needs
- Tuned to what they want as much as what they need
- Enabling to finding a solution
Listening is how you take the information in, accept it and nurture the relationship between you and your clients.
Listening skills should include;
- Full focus on being present, no distractions because this is your opportunity to gain intel
- Supportive and positive body language (engaged in them, smiles, nods, interest); to show acknowledgement, encouraging for further information
- A way to record information if you are not able to record it all. Some people think a note pad is distracting and takes attention away from others
The two go hand in hand. Good questions with poor listening skills creates pent up frustration in the client – you’ve asked them a good question, but not shown you’ve taken the information on. Poor questions and good listening skills – might eventually get to the heart of the matter, but will take longer.
Hone the two sides of the coin to unearth critical information so that you can take your athlete and coaching clients forward.