Are You Motivating Your Clients?

All the great coaches continuously learn. It seems to be one common trait no matter what industry.


It is essential to have all the movement and nutrition knowledge that we all have. But then there is that next step that the elite coaches take: being able to express this knowledge easily to clients to elicit change.


That is what we are all about isn’t it, creating a change in our clients? I don’t know about you but I don’t think anyone has ever come up to me and wanted to pay for my services by saying they were perfectly happy with where they are right now and don’t want to change a thing!


One thing we all have to realize right away is that most of our clients are not like us!  They don’t enjoy working out and eating healthy all the time. That is why they come to see you!


However, just because you have healthy lifestyle patterns does not automatically make you an expert in coaching others to follow your lead!


Remember when Wayne Gretzky, probably the greatest hockey player in history, tried to coach the Phoenix Coyotes? In four seasons they never made the playoffs.


Great do’ers don’t always make great coaches.


You have to really invest to become a great coach but in the end it will make all the difference in the world.


That is one of the reasons that I have been studying and practicing motivational interviewing for the past few years.


I am always trying to become a better movement coach but if I can create lasting behavioral changes in my clients I know that will make the biggest impact in their lives.


What is Motivational Interviewing?


I am guessing you have heard the term before as it has been growing more and more in our industry over the past few years. Dr. Berardi from Precision Nutrition talks about it a lot and it is one of the fundamentals of their awesome coaching program.


If you are unfamiliar with Motivational Interviewing, in their 2013 edition Miller and Rollnick described it as a collaborative, goal-oriented style of communication with particular attention to the language of change. It is designed to strengthen personal motivation for the commitment to a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion.


In my mind it just means putting the client first – client centric coaching. In my experience, directive style of coaching (telling the client what they should be doing) does not do a good job of creating long term change.


Sure it might work for certain people especially in the short term. But most people do not react well to it and even in those who do, the changes do not stick long term.


Instead of throwing down the hammer on clients and demanding they do something, I have switched to being more of a guide. This way the client is the expert and knows what’s best for them. I am simply there to help them figure it out.


This way they made the choice and it becomes their goal instead of doing it just to please the coach.


I urge you to ask two questions of yourself:


What happens when your client gets home?


Do they put what they’ve learned into action?


If yes, great job keep rockin it!


If no, why not? Maybe the way you communicate with your clients could be improved to help create more behavioral changes in their daily lives.




p.s. If you don’t know if they are putting it into action or not, that is where Habit Catalyst can fit into your system!


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