One of the foundational skills in the fitness industry is the ability to effectively communicate. Without communication it is going to be a hard slog to get and keep your client base. Many personal trainers can find this part hard, and just like anything communication is a skill that needs to be honed and developed.
Here are some of the top things to consider to help to improve your communication style.
Body Language – as we all know body language is a key part of communication. Does your body language align with what you are saying, it is vital as a personal trainer that we are making people feel welcome and confortable in our presence. Using open postures, eye contact and passing a message of confidence over to people you are communicating with is vital.
The conversation filler – most of us have a conversation filler that we use, often without even realising it! My personal one is ‘Um’ these can come across as less confident and spoil the flow of a conversation, remember the silences always feel more awkward that they actually are, and are a natural part of conversation…. Don’t feel the need to fill them!
Small talk – if you are not a natural small talker maybe have a list of conversation starters that you have honed over time. Common points that people are always happy to talk about are family, jobs, hobbies and their dreams.
Stories – one of the most powerful communication skills I have learnt over the years is the power for story telling. Stories activate our brains and engage people, this skill makes sometimes a powerful message seem less like a lecture and more relatable.
Ask questions and allow a response – a common mistake in communication is that personal trainers ask a question but do not wait for or in some cases even listen to the response. This is vital, when you ask a question make it meaningful and be genuinely interested in the response!
Tailor you message – as a personal trainer you will speak to all different kinds of people, from all different backgrounds. Even though your overall message maybe similar whoever your talking to the way you deliver it should be specific to the person in front of you. Make sure you capture their imagination and get them engaged in what your saying.
Listen – the most important one!! Now we are not talking about hearing, you should genuinely make an effort to listen to those you are communicating with, recognize what they say and respond to what they have said. Not what you think they have said or what you want them to say!
Communication is a skill and as a skill it can be honed and refined, most of the highly successful people in the world are intelligent and effective communicators. So go out and work on your communication style!