“Please can I have your opinion!”
Many years ago a coach asked me for my opinion
It was concerning a topic I was a little unsure about
I struggled and stressed over what to say, so I didn’t offer one
“Sitting on the fence”
Ok, I did respond but I “sat on the fence” and gave a very safe answer.
This phrase is used to describe a person’s lack of decisiveness, the desire to remain neutral or a hesitance to choose between two sides.
Sometimes it’s used because people believe that their opinion may upset the person asking the question and they want to remain on good terms with them. They don’t want to be seen to take a side or create an argument (discussion).
My avoidance of giving an opinion came from
Deciding that I didn’t have enough knowledge to have an opinion
Not wanting to create disagreement with the other coach
Thinking that the best discussion came from being neutral and listening to someone
These 3 thoughts stifled the opportunity to maximise new learning
What do you do?
If you are asked a question and you have a viewpoint do you state it? Would you do that even if you believed that it could be an alternative one to the person asking?
Consider if you deliberately consider the effect of your answer before talking. Maybe you avoid stating a position and give a ‘neutral’ reply with the thought that it’s the best way to start a discussion.
How often do you say “well it depends“ but then don’t state what it would depend on?
Are you happy with giving your viewpoint?
Maybe you believe that it’s an important starting point in any discussion for all parties to hear each other’s thoughts. Do you apply any consideration to how you phrase your replies and deliberately select your words and phrases?
After giving your opinion do you ever consider asking “It would be great to hear what you think, and if it’s an alternative view I’m interested in hearing more”
Maybe you do need to ask that question in case the other person is already sitting on the fence ! 🙂
Are your opinions best kept to yourself?
Is it best not to have a strong opinion but to be open to all ideas?
I was offered this advice by a coach who became a great friend
- You need to have an opinion, and force yourself to take a position – although you don’t have to tell anyone
- Having an opinion, any opinion is a starting point and will enable reflection – either alone or with others
- If you believe you don’t know enough say so then seek to work with others to gain more knowledge – you can work alone but working collaboratively is often better.
- Be prepared to justify and back up your thoughts with evidence – evidence from multiple sources is always best.
- If others challenge you, ask yourself what it would take for you to change your opinion – are others offering information that you need.
Which description best fits your style?
Do feel uncomfortable offering opinions when asked, preferring to keep your thoughts to yourself
Are you a person who likes to explore your thoughts with others and learn from them through discussion
Maybe you have never considered what opinions you have, preferring to react only when asked (or hope that others don’t ask!)
I suggest that by not sharing you are missing out on the joy of collaborative working
– – – – – – – – – – – – –
What strong badminton opinions do you hold – read more
Beliefs that you absolutely know are essential for players’ development, motivation & enjoyment. Something that you can state, describe, and then have an open debate with another coach as to its importance.
Using the word ‘absolute’ may seem extreme, but I want you to feel challenged, and to challenge me.
I’ve started a mini-series that considers opinions surrounding: Technique, Tactical, Physical, Psychological, Coaching methods, and Courtcraft & Lifestyle.
– – – – – – – – – – – – –
As always, I’m very grateful if you have read this far 🙂
Do you have an opinion on this post and do you think that badminton coaches need an opinion ?
Why not send me an email email@example.com
This is part of a series of conversation starters.
Although not in detail, the posts are written to get you thinking and talking with others.