Do you facilitate change?

The subtle art of what we say and how we say it

Can have huge repercussions on how the people around us respond.

Clients are especially vulnerable to the way we speak to them, treat them or behave around them, which is why I’m so happy to be seeing more work by the likes of people such as Catch McDonald working with one of my man-crush’s Chris Burgess and his team at Lift The Bar: Fitness Mentoring

Focusing on how we interact with our clients and one another has to be the new hotness in personal training education, the whole state of the industry right now is geared at tricking vulnerable people into parting with their money through promises.

If it isn’t the latest Fitrepreneur promising you classes to make 6k a month, it’s the latest cover-model ab shot fiend selling you a six week body plan for £600, grab you when you are desperate, shatter your confidence for the rest of your life after you fail.

These interactions do nothing for building peoples confidence, creating a good experience and helping our industry thrive.

We need to start looking at coaching as more than a sign up for a diet plan service.

Which is why I’m so happy that people like Chris, Cathy and my partner in crime Gary at the Lean Man system / The Nutrition Academy are putting so much emphasis on communication skills and effecting client’s self efficacy.

If you haven’t talked bout self efficacy or thought about it and how it effects your clients, it’s prettymuch about building up their confidence in themselves, in you and their situation.

Obviously creating the right atmosphere has a lot to do with how well they perform and progress towards their goal.

Self efficacy is a measure of how much we believe we are capable of completing a task, in this context, the ability to lose weight or follow through with an ongoing challenge, A client that strongly believes in their own capability is willing to commit more effort throughout your time, a lot of research (Bandura 1977 for example) has gone into efficacy and meeting challenges and overcoming goals we set for ourselves and has demonstrated that men and women tend to respond to efficacy challenges differently, and gain success in different ways.

Self-efficacy can be measured, boosted and helped, that is one thing to bare in mind when working with a client – our job is to educate and equip a client with the best possible chances for success and one part of the success story is creating self efficacy within them.

The client who is forever reliant on their coach at every turn, is going to spend a lot of time and energy on and off the band-wagon of even the most simple dietary protocol, but a self sufficient client, will come to you for updates, help in sticky situations and accountability – which is where we want all our clients to get to one day.

Look at it this way, if I’m working with you in my normal role as a tutor and I turn you out as a student who can answer a question by looking up the answer to a question by going back over their notes, great, but what if I give you the confidence to spout the rhetoric yourself, or the confidence in your own ability to dissect information and come to your own conclusions and then present them? – Amazing, I feel then I have done my job.

I can encourage that outcome or discourage it in a student of any ability just by how we handle our interactions.

Think about this next time you are speaking to a client.

Are you encouraging them, building their confidence in them self, helping them make their own decisions?


Are you controlling them, pointing them at every turn and punishing them for their mistakes?

How do you feel about clients?

Do you sign people up and direct them to success? Or do you work with them to create a new lifestyle they can maintain?

Rich ‘I respond well to stickers with cats on them’ Sennewald

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