Sharon Speaks to Coaches Who Need Answers
Are you experiencing trouble communicating with particular clients in your gym? Do you need a hand in figuring out what makes your client ‘tick’ and the best way to speak with them and help guide them towards their true self?
Our very own CCP Consultation Instructor Sharon Prete is on hand to answer your questions and help us all learn how better to communicate and understand both our fitness clients and ourselves.
Matt: My name is Matt and I am a part of the CCP Cohort that kicked off on March 8th. I have just finished the Masculine / Feminine principles portion of the Consultation course. I wanted to reach out because I have a question about approaching or communicating with two types of clients that I’ve seen several examples of (and maybe this is more NEPA related)
Client type 1: What I’ve dubbed as the “More is more” client. I have spoken with several of these types of clients. The characteristics include… training for 6 or 7 days in a row. Obeying workouts provided in FitBot, but then going for a 5 mile run on a rest day. In some cases, entering a training session sick or injured and continuing to train.
I have, in particular one of these clients currently. I think that she is a “fulfillment” type of person in that she feels happiest when she’s working out, or thrives on the feeling of accomplishment after a workout. I don’t know quite how to approach this client, but I’ve tried reminding her of her endurance cycling goals, suggested “unplugged” sessions, I’ve even sent her overtraining articles from respected sources, as well as recovery method articles. Still… she continues to train, non stop. She finally got sick for like 3 weeks. And I want to use this time where she’s coming back to have a meaningful conversation about her training.
CLASSIC! Yes… “more is more”.
This is a perfect time to have a meaningful conversation. She may be a fulfillment type person, but I would want to know WHY exactly she feels “happiest” when working out. Is working out any kind of escape from daily life that she is not fulfilled in? This ends up being the opposite of a fulfillment person. Some people fill up the lack of fulfillment void with other things like sugar, sex, drugs, alcohol… any of the feel goods. But working out is also a feel good and can equally be used as an escape, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that working out is fulfilling in and of itself. Dig down on the why big time. You can start that convo with things like:
I know you love working out. Can you help me understand exactly why you love it?
Listen very carefully as she answers for the little things that come out in her language that will be clues if there is other stuff going on (aka. escape, self destruction, lack of self respect, short term highs, etc.).
You can also ask: What do you get from working out that you don’t get anywhere else in life? What do you get from working out that you could get somewhere else in life?
Let her know that you are asking those questions with the intention of helping her find a balanced relationship with fitness and her body so that she can sustain her health and fitness and ultimately have better results long term.
You can even be very direct about it, but in a caring way so that your intentions are known. “I notice that you are what I like to call a “more is more” client. In other words, you have the tendency to train non-stop. You said your goals are X-Y-Z (whatever her goals are) and by overtraining you are now misaligned with those goals and definitely making it tough on me to run you through phases that would get you those results in the most efficient and effective way possible. My job is to help you reach your goals, but I know that no one moves a muscle without a motive, so I’m curious: What do you think you are getting out of exercising all the time? There is no right or wrong answer here either. Just whatever is true for you.”
If you say something like this, make sure your tone is very light hearted and conversational and authentic… you must be true if you want your clients to be. When you approach these types of issues with a sense of curiosity your demeanour will naturally be less judgemental. If you don’t, it may feel like an interrogation. So as in all things with our clients it starts with you first coach. Mentally prepare yourself before the conversation to be curious and very interested in the truth of the matter with the intention of aligning things for you and your client. It’s the best approach.
Need a hand figuring what makes your clients tick and better connecting with them interpersonally? Post your consultation and human behaviour questions below!