I've made corny jokes before to my clients saying things like, "I learn more from you guys than you learn from me." But in all actuality, I feel like it's very true. When I got into coaching in my younger 20's, I'd always assume that 99% of my clientele would be exactly like myself. That we'd be more alike than different, that we both saw training the same, that the gym meant exactly the same.
I was in for a real wake up call.
As a private facility owner, you have to be able to wear many hats. You have to know how to write training programs, how to manage your facility, how to market your brand, how to actually run a business, and most importantly, know how to coach your clients!
I felt very comfortable coaching my clients early on. I was confident in coaching someone how to perform the exercises and execute a training program, this came easy to me. But the big lessons were still to come...
I had to learn the in depth principles and application of psychology and coaching. I realized that as much as the gym life brings people together to focus on similar goals, it really amplified how people were so much different. The gym creates stress, and everyone responds to it differently. So the more I realized this, the more I started studying a lot of psychological and social behaviors of people. By studying some news concepts, and putting them into play with my daily experience, I've learned some valuable and simple lessons as I close out this chapter of coaching in my 20's this year.
I'm going to share with you 3 Lessons I've learned from working with people. These 3 Lessons do not carry any certain weight to them. I've for sure learned more than 3 Lessons, but these three have been on my mind lately and I wanted to share them with you. Maybe you can relate and they may help you right now or in the near future!
Lets get to it!
1.) Be Genuine, Not Nice
People love and respect real. They love and respect it so much that some are even afraid of it because the idea that people keeping it real, is sometimes intimidating to them. But the ones who have the love for you, they will ride or die for you when they see you as genuine.
Why nice doesn't work...Nice is just trying to be kind when you may not always mean what you say. When in doubt, yeah just be nice, but people can usually sniff it out real quick if you're trying to be nice. For example, if someone buys a green Ford Mustang, and you hate green cars, being nice you'd just respond with "great car" (or something like that). If you're being genuine, you're response could be, "great car, but it may take me a minute to get used to that color. But I'm happy for you!" Assuming this is really how you felt.
People respect real. In fact, if you want to attract genuine people too, genuine people crave real because a lot of what around them is fake. For example, if my client doesn't do something well, I will tell them that it wasn't very good. But they also know, when something is good, I will tell them how good it was too. It works both ways and the right people will respect it.
2. People Want to Relate, or They Cry Out to Be Heard
Next time you have an interaction with someone, pay attention to what they're saying. Not the content of what they're saying, but more importantly, how they are saying whatever it is that they're saying. One or two things will probably happen. They will try to relate and connect with you over a certain topic, or they will be come off as if they're complaining about something.
People like being a part of tribes. They want to feel connected to others, as if they want to belong. Maybe they want to talk politics because they know both of you guys voted the same. Or they may come off like they're complaining. The complaining is simple, they just want to be heard from someone about their problems. That's usually it. They put enough trust in you to that they want to be heard.
So next time you talk to someone in person, see which way they take the conversation, or which way you take it. Or even more fun, scroll down your Facebook Timeline and watch this happen over and over again lol!
3.) Less is More with People
People want value from you. Yes YOU, you have something to offer the world. But they usually can only handle so much of it. A little rule of thumb I've learned, is offer some value to them, let them chew on it for a little while, and when they're ready, give them a little more value. If you give too much too soon, one or two things usually happen. One, they get annoyed with you. Imagine sitting around a Holiday Dinner, and that one person won't shut up by telling stories. They think they're doing the party a favor by sharing stories to entertain, but eventually people get up and walk to the other room because it's just "too much."
Or two, people get analysis by paralysis with too much value. It's like teaching math to someone. You teach them simple addition before you teach them multiplication. We can only handle so many tasks at once until we shut down. Allow people to catch one rabbit at a time. Once they catch one, if they enjoy it, give them another to catch.
These are 3 of many of some valuable lessons I've learned so far in my coaching career. I would never have imagine that working with hundreds of individuals day in and day out, that I would have learned so much so soon. Pay attention to the details about people. I study fitness, but to make fitness work at the highest levels, you have to know and study people too! We all interact with people every day, so be genuine, listen to what people are trying to say to you, and remember, less is more!
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Physical Prep Coach & Owner of Joel Younkins Training.