Who Are You??
The Relationship Business
During a private coaching session this past week, I helped a new Personal Trainer in an area that he was truly struggling in. After sharing what I'm about to share with you here, I saw a light shine in his eyes as awareness overcame him. I LOVE what I do so much!! He's now on his way to confidently living his passion and helping so many others achieve their health and fitness goals. This is why we became Personal Trainers to begin with right?
Here's what I shared with him...
Accept that your business will only grow as big as you grow yourself. In order to grow your business you MUST grow you as a person.
Personal training is a business built on successful relationships. In order to be successful, you have to connect with people. Those connections must come first. Designing fitness routines and programs comes later.
Personal trainers often get caught up in TRX®, kettlebells, and a variety of fitness staples and trends. If you are in this cycle, STOP. If you are just starting out, don’t fall for it. Stop learning more fitness ‘stuff’ and learn how to connect with people, first.
Clients don’t care if it’s a kettlebell or a church bell; they care about their relationship with you. If you cannot hold space for an individual, you cannot help your client succeed, and neither will you.
It’s essential to identify each client’s personality. Clients may have fitness goals in common, but they will not all take the instruction and information in the same way. Each person has a unique style of how they communicate and it’s up to you to understand how to deliver your message so it can be heard by each individual. It’s no use delivering a stack of facts to someone who just wants to hang out and make friends as a part of their fitness journey. Likewise, a group session is not the best suggestion for those who want a challenge and little interaction with others.
How will you know how each client will thrive? Which ones need more encouragement and reminders and which ones want short, sweet, and direct instructions?
Let’s closely examine personality identification.
One great way to evaluate the personality of others is to access the DISC-profiling system which has its roots in a study of emotions by William Marston in 1928. Since that time, many psychologists have used Marston’s theory to categorize personalities, eventually coming up with the DISC system: a pop quiz of 40 questions which identify a personality type.
DISC is a fast and fantastic assessment tool, and will serve you well in relationship development and delivery of your specialty.
Each of the letters in DISC stands for a personality type—dominant, influential, steady, and conscientious. DISC is like a short version of the famous Myers Briggs profiling system. A quick application of DISC will allow you to identify yourself and others on this scale.
Potential clients will appreciate your investment in them when you ask them to participate in DISC. They’ll likely enjoy finding out their rating, and their overall designation. It’s quite informative, and can help them in other areas of life.
Even if you don’t use DISC, this review of it, below, will help you recognize key personality indicators and match them to people in your life.
“D’s” place a huge emphasis on accomplishment and results. Task oriented, those with the D for dominance see the big picture. They accept challenges, and can be blunt.
If you run the less than five-minute, 40 question DISC with a potential client and see a strong D, then you will know that you are dealing with a confident person who wants you to get straight to the point.
Imagine if you hadn’t known that about them and you’d spent time chit-chatting and joking around.
The “I’s” are influencers. People oriented, they like discussion; even persuasion. I’s like openness in relationships. I’s show enthusiasm and are optimists. They don’t like being ignored. They like to collaborate.
Can you see how having an “I” client would require different communication style than a “D”? Even on the phone. With D’s you’d be direct, and text them the shortest message possible to confirm their time. With I’s your confirmation might lean toward a check-in, include a little more ‘have a great day’ or ‘thinking of you’. I’s might require an extra reminder: ‘looking forward to working together’.
I’s value connections infused with a level of assurance and positivity.
D’s value succinct communication.
Your delivery of a program needs to be tailored to each individual.
Those who score high in the “S” range—Steadiness—on the DISC do not like to be rushed. Also people oriented, they value cooperation, sincerity, and dependability. They respond to calm approaches and supportive actions. If you are a D and your client is an S, you will need to alter your own style so that you are less abrupt.
Finally, there are the “C’s”. C might stand for Cookie, but in DISC it represents conscientiousness. Clients who are C’s value accuracy and high quality—not that other “letters” don’t. But for task oriented C’s, this comes first. They enjoy independence. Give them objective reasoning and details for the tasks you set them and they’ll happily fulfill the assignment without the support that I’s need. Give them research and homework, they’ll feel empowered and part of the whole. However, C’s do fear being wrong, so provide the necessary cheerleading to ensure they are on track and not disheartened.
Of course, there will be a certain mix of D, I, S, and C in each person, but there will be characteristics that will stand out from the rest.
You get the point, I’m sure. Relationships build success in fitness. And you’ll want to understand your clients by ensuring you are able to recognize the way they best process feedback.
You’ll be happy to discover that people don’t mind running through a less than five minute question test—many love those ‘what spirit animal are you?’ on social media. Most will welcome the DISC. To express you want to know more about your client is a professional feather in your cap, and it’s interesting for your clients to find out something about themselves.
If you prefer not to administer the test, or suggest it, then become familiar with the four types so that you can identify your clients immediately. Practice noticing the traits in your friends and family and get them to do the DISC. That way you’ll become adept at noticing the signs when you meet potential clients.
There are many websites that offer a DISC evaluation without any obligation. Be sure to go online and discover your ‘score’ in each type—maybe you are a strong S, followed by more I than C. Perhaps D is the last descriptor in your character type. Whatever the results are for you, you’ll quickly understand the value of personality identification.
Ultimately, everything leads to growing a more complete YOU, in order to grow success in fitness.
Your client's success is all about connection, understanding yourself, and being willing to understand others.
GROWTH. It begs repeating:
Accept that your business will only grow as big as you grow yourself.