Tools for Empowerment and Methods of Communication to Motivate Clients

August 01, 2017


 methods of communication to motivate client

What drives a person? What allows one person to have more mental toughness than another and how do we tap into and help develop and strengthen that part of someone?  Anyone who is a personal trainer knows there’s much more to what we do than just telling people what exercises to complete.  We are life changers, friends, role models, listeners, leaders, and motivators.  All of these are connected.  They allow us to facilitate an environment that motivates and inspires our personal training clients helping them reach their goals. So what methods of communciation to motivate clients do you use?

“No one can motivate anybody to do anything.  People motivate themselves.  However, a successful leader will be able to do something, or be something, which, when it is experienced by the other person, enables them to motivate themselves.”
- Jeremy Marchant

Instead of lighting a fire of passion, drive, and perseverance under a client, maybe we should give them a lighter and wood chips to light the fire themselves.  Learn what inspires change, growth, and action and give your clients the tools to motivate themselves. 

Even in a physically-focused industry we can't ignore emotions.  They are the driver for motivation and success. While the primary goal is to help clients physically, we must be able to perceive what they are feeling in order to best do this.  Not all clients respond to or are driven by the same things.  Just like you personalize each session to the client you're seeing, how they are inspired should be taken into consideration, also.  Exercise science is how we know what the client needs to do, and emotional intelligence is how we know how to get them to do it.  "Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge...(Mayer and Salovey 1997).  Emotions are a huge driving-factor for people.  Being perceptive to clients' emotions will enable you to work with them the best way to get them to their goals.  

Oftentimes the people that enlist you as a trainer are those that want to make changes in their lives but just don't know how or need additional support.  Change is hard.  The harder the change, the more motivated the person must be to make it.  There are countless exercises, training programs, and pre-made workouts online available to anyone with internet access, but people hire you for the relationship.  We can't lift, run, or be motivated for them, but we can give them the tools to live empowered which will help them when the going gets tough.  Building up a client emotionally and psychologically during a session gives them the courage and motivation to continue that building between sessions themselves.  Here are some tips and methods of communication to motivate clients to help you empower your clients for the other 167 hours in a week they aren't with you:

  • Use their emotions: Find out what really is driving them.  Intrinsic motivation, motivation from within, is the most impactful.  Have them share their motivation and talk about their goal as if it was certain it was going to be met (have them picturing themselves there).
  • Support and encourage their goal and them pursuing it
  • Help them understand what motivates them best and the thoughts that are most action-oriented
  • CELEBRATE what they could do even if they didn't or couldn't meet that activity's goal.  Clients respond well when trainers: believe they can do something, push them during an activity, encourage them to push themselves, and celebrate with them after.  This is why we are trainers!
  •  words of encouragement from a personal trainerBelieve in them, their abilities, and their goal: They look up to you as an expert and role model.  The more they know you believe in them the more they'll believe in themselves.
  • Ask how they are doing and feeling:  Not only does this let them know that you're genuinely interested in their well-being, but it also gives you the chance to address any physical issues they're having.  MAT® can help you assess and correct a client's muscular system by examing the muscle system's role in pain and injury.  This will keep their body strong, healthy, and progressing and let them know they are #1 to you along with their health.
  • Be honest and upfront about how realistic their goals are and the expectations and requirements needed in order to achieve them.  Be confident in them and their abilities to reach an appropriate goal.
  • Set short- and long-term goals:  This will help them to focus, stay motivated, and to celebrate both the small and large victories.
  • Track data: This gives them some solid "facts" to reference when they're doubting themselves or the process.  Use whatever methods you support and that they respect, are receptive to, and are motivated by (body measurements, progress pictures, scale, etc.)
  • Encourage them to practice positive self-talk and to journal thoughts when they are feeling "off."  This will allow them to understand patterns in behaviors and thinking which will enable them to disrupt any negative cycles they are in.
  • Knowing the Best Personal Trainer Tools will give you an edge to provide the best experience and results for your clients possible.  Giving them the best makes them work at their best!

Empower your clients to rely on you for the workouts and themselves for the motivation.  Your sessions affect more than just their physical goals.  Give them the tools to dig deep, push through, and stay strong even when they want to quit!

Make your training programs more personalized!