The triangle of trust
How to build a Healthy Relationship With Your Clients
“Trust takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair”
Coaches are imbued with unique authority and possess great responsibility in the realm of fitness. Clients and athletes come to coaches seeking guidance on their physical and athletic journeys. These individuals are entrusting you as their coach with their most important belonging, their body. They are bringing it to you so that you can help them improve their health and wellness.
The pursuit of fitness requires immense personal vulnerability from the client. That is why the best coaches foster a relationship built on trust from their first meeting and continue to do so with every single interaction with the client.
“Having trust allows us as coaches to be a resource for our clients and establish the direction they must take.”
- OPEX HEAD COACH SEAN MCGOVERN
Without trust, clients will not take any direction you provide. If they aren't listening to your recommendations, they will not obtain the results they hoped for and your entire relationship will fracture.
Trust is the basic foundation of a successful coach and client relationship. So, how does a coach build trust?
Simple, you demonstrate competency, caring, and consistency: The Triangle of Trust.
Meriam-Webster defines competency as "having requisite or adequate ability or qualities" and "having the capacity to function or develop in a particular way".
Competent coaches aren’t just intelligent and book smart, they put theories into action. However, they also respect the limitations of their knowledge and experience to produce results for their clients.
Are you demonstrating your commitment to the relationship with your client? Every human wants to feel loved, respected, and appreciated for who they are. It’s your job as a coach to deliver that to the client as a fitness coach.
However, there is such a thing as caring too much. Coaches who care too much usually don’t set personal boundaries on their time or privacy and eventually grow to resent their choice of career and their clients. Demonstrate you care, but don’t let that care consume your view of self.
Are you following through with what you say? Are you making promises that you can’t keep? The best coaches are true to their word, and respect their clients time.