Listening, finding your passion and feeling inspired

Last week, I was in the French Alps with my son, Reece Mathieson. Just the two of us, enjoying time on the slopes, something we both love.

We had a blast – the snow was good, the sun came out and we had some great laughs. Particularly my slow-speed comedy topple into deep powder just off the side of the piste, which may have been my son’s highlight of the trip…

We’ve been skiing together since he was five, but I value the time with him even more at this stage as I get less of it. He’s 19 now, midway through his degree in Game Design at Bournemouth University. It was great to spend real quality time with him and to have the opportunity to listen to him more and more deeply. However, that is not without its challenges.

Listening to understand

Listening is at the core of my work as a change coach and consultant. Giving my clients the benefits of being heard and understood, challenged and supported to help them gain clarity and find the courage to make positive changes happen.

But it’s a bit different when you’re with a family member. They don’t want to feel coached, yet we all appreciate being heard and understood, it’s a fundamental human need.

Factor in the contrast in our personalities – I’m a recovering extravert, he is a thoughtful and reflective introvert – and I had to be very deliberate and disciplined, tuning into my coaching skills to listen deeply, not fill the silence and give him space to share what he wanted with me.

On our various rides on chairlifts, we talked about all sorts of random things. Is a whale shark a whale or a shark? Is a chamois a deer or an antelope? (If you’re not sure, you can find the answers via Google).

But we also talked about what he has learnt, what he finds challenging, about his dreams and what his ideal role would be in the #videogames industry. He ultimately wants to be a Games Director, leading the multi-skilled teams that develop a game ready for release.

Finding your passion

Reece knows he will have to work towards this dream, but I felt immensely proud of how he is turning into a fantastic young adult who has found his passion – wanting to turn his love for gaming into a rewarding career. It’s great to see him investing his full energy to learn as much as he can and develop his ideas.

This time, our trip was mainly play, with some work for both of us in the evenings. I had some coaching calls with clients, while my son was finishing a course assignment.

His task was to create a level of a game, design the menu, UI (user interface) and HUD (heads-up display), while checking the associated coding all worked, and then create a video of playing the level with commentary that showcased his ideas and skills in creating the level.

He was pleased with what he created, and rightly so (in my biased and proud view). I was impressed with what he was able to create, which showed what he has learnt to date and his ability to put his ideas and new skills to work. I was particularly proud to watch him as he overcame challenges and setbacks when things didn’t quite work as he expected.

I can’t wait to see what he can do by the time he finishes his degree and where he takes it after.

He’s currently looking for a placement in the #gamingindustry from next summer to deepen his learning and add practical experience. If you know anyone who could help, I would be hugely grateful for an introduction. Please email me if you can help.

Feeling inspired

Most of all though, I’m grateful to him for inspiring me on this trip.

He may not have known it, but he helped me think more about what I want and what my own dreams are. I came back inspired to bring even more impact to my clients in 2024 as the world around them gets ever more challenging.

After all, what you want in life and work does not happen by chance. It happens by #change.

Want to discuss how I can help you to achieve positive change in your work or life? Send me an email at to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.

#thinkboldly #changebravely #performbrilliantly

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