Let me give u a scenario.
You are instructing a fitness class. You notice a member of your class that clearly has what it takes to be great, but doubts herself the moment it becomes difficult. What do you do?
You can either say, well it’s her choice, she’s obviously doesn’t care to improve and is not interested in putting in the effort, so it’s not my problem OR you can SHOW HER how to show HERSELF just how strong she is. Well that sounds good.
How do we do that? By showing her EMPATHY.
Now don’t be confused with SYMPATHY. Sympathy is feeling bad; pity for a person. Empathy is, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. In other words, empathy is:
I CARE ABOUT YOU, YOU MATTER TO ME, I VALUE YOUR OPINION, I HEAR WHAT YOU ARE SAYING.
So how as a personal trainer or fitness instructor, can we put this into action?
Try the following:
1. In class, I’ve had instructors give me a little wink, telling me, WE GOT THIS! Not, YOU have it, but WE. I know it’s hard, but YOU AND I, we can do this. That little wink, or the extra push you give to participant of your class or client, goes a very long way.
2. BODY LANGUAGE– so so important. I’ve had an instructor WALK AWAY FROM ME as I was talking to her, giving me a clear message that what I say had no meaning and value to her. It is not a good feeling. LOOK at your clients when they talk to you. Don’t look at your phone or at someone else that you’d rather be talking to. Your face can say so much without you even saying a single word.
3. Text them privately after class. Tell them you saw how hard they worked today. Compliment them. Not once, not twice. Over and over. But don’t BS it. Be specific in your compliments.
When you do all this, the client starts to feel better about themselves. They start to believe that YOU believe in them, and in turn they will believe in themselves. Once that happens, the opportunities for growth are endless.
So all of you, go and practice empathy: to your clients, to the members of your class, to your family, friends and children. Go practice empathy and watch your world turn around.