What do I mean by that?
Stick around please and I will give you the answer in the end.
As a personal trainer, I hold some expertise in a field called fitness. My expertise also covers nutrition.
My job is to guide people in these areas.
Many times are the people that I guide highly intelligent, often with expertise in other fields.
So how easy is it for me to get a point across and get my clients to act on my advice?
Well if a client is training with me and I put him or her through a workout he does all the exercises. Perhaps he trains with me for an hour or 2 every week.
Well that is the easy part in my job and if that workout would mean that my client is now a healthy happy person then my job would be so easy.
Unfortunately with fitness and especially weight loss a one hour workout is not going to make much difference.
There are so many actions that need to be taken all throughout the week.
When I am not there
Really I can’t go around and slap all my clients hands every time they decide to eat a doughnut.
So how do I get my clients to act on my advice?
How do I best communicate with my clients?
Let’s say I use reason. I prove to a client that the solution that I give them is the best solution for them.
Is that going to work?
Unfortunately not as I have come to find out after years of trying to get into inside my clients heads.
You might have heard that our brains have got an analytical side and a creative side. Now if you as a coach only reach out to the rational side of the brain you are going to have very limited success.
Let me give you an example.
Let’s say you have a client whose mum has died from lung disease as a result of smoking. Now this client is a smoker herself and she has just developed a chronic cough.
Are you going to make her quit smoking by using reason?
This is where the elephant comes into place.
The elephant represents the creative side of the brain. Where all the emotions are.
Lots of symphony and encouragement etc. will guide the elephant as the elephant doesn’t use reason.
The rider is the analytical side of the brain. This is where you use reason.
Now which is bigger the elephant or the rider.
So this is what I have to deal with on a daily basis. Highly intelligent clients who I guide who need lots of encouragement and symphony rather than reason to follow my advice.
Finally before I wrap up this blog I am going to give you a reel life example.
I had this lady who starred her fitness journey with me and she was booked in with me twice a week.
I had also advised her to walk for 45 minutes 3 days a week to complement our sessions.
This was during the winter. When I asked her how she was getting on with the walking she came up with different excuses. “It’s too cold”. “It’s too wet and “It’s too dark.”
So in this case if I were to use reason only I would probably tell her something like. “You need to do your walking 3 times a week otherwise you are not going to lose that weight and you will be wasting your time”.
Instead I decided to guide the elephant rather than the rider. At first `I had asked her if perhaps she could go out walking with a friend or her husband and hoping that this would encourage her.
Guess what my brilliant solution was? The husband could not walk with her as he was at work and she had no other friend that could walk with her.
Instead we got the husband to give her a hug every time she had done her 45 minutes.
So there we go excuses are obstacles that i have to deal with and that is why I often guide the elephant rather than rider..
Does this sound interesting?
Perhaps you have tried everything else and nothing has worked.
You can get in toch with me by email or phone and perhaps I shall soon be guiding your elephant.
By:Abdi-Karim Berleen/Personal trainer in Loughton.