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How to Create Meaningful Connection and Build Trust With Person-Focused Coaching

As a health or health skilled, you might be accustomed to the “client-centered” strategy to teaching, the place the shopper is the authority on their very own lives, and the coach works with the shopper to construct their dignity, autonomy, self-determination, self-efficacy, and self-expertise.

At Girls Gone Strong, we’re in fact utterly on board with empowering shoppers on this method — and but we really feel that we will additional improve this relationship, by envisioning the individuals we work with as greater than merely “clients.” This is an strategy we name person-focused teaching.

There are 4 primary pillars of person-focused teaching:

  1. Making significant connections and constructing belief
  2. Serving individuals of all totally different personalities, values, and backgrounds
  3. Making each shopper really feel welcome, included, and protected
  4. Striving to lead with empathy, congruence, and a lifelong dedication to private progress.

In this text, I’m going to contact on the significance of creating significant connections and constructing belief, that are the foundations of person-focused teaching.

These are incredible objectives to have as a coach, however how do you truly go about engaging in this stuff together with your shoppers?

Making Meaningful Connections and Building Trust

You’ve in all probability heard the phrase, “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care,” proper? Working with somebody to enhance their health, whether or not you’re a private coach, physiotherapist, vitamin coach, chiropractor, or different health skilled is an intimate expertise.

Folks in search of your assist:

  • Likely skilled a serious life occasion — an damage, a critical analysis, or one thing that made them lastly prepared to take cost of their health.
  • Will be sharing very private health info with you.
  • Will be in bodily intimate settings with you, typically with you touching their physique in some capability.

This is a weak time for most individuals, and making a significant connection and beginning to construct belief together with your shopper or affected person might be the distinction in them working with you or selecting to work with one other skilled.

Making significant connection and constructing belief sounds good — however what does that really appear to be in follow? Here are some actionable methods you possibly can implement instantly.

1. Make a Positive First Impression

Has it ever occurred that you simply meet somebody for the primary time and they appear utterly disinterested in assembly you? They don’t smile or make eye contact, their posture is closed off, and they’ve a completely bored tone of voice? It feels terrible, proper? It has the power to make you are feeling insignificant or diminished, whether or not or not this individual even intends to deal with you that approach. They might be in a nasty temper, or be shy or distracted, however nonetheless — the primary impression isn’t good, and you definitely wouldn’t need to pay to work together with them regularly.

Remember, the shoppers or sufferers you’re about to meet could also be in notably difficult or weak locations of their lives, and it’s important that you simply make them really feel essential and valued upon assembly them. Here are actionable methods you are able to do that:

  • Have an enormous smile in your face.
  • Make eye contact.
  • Adopt a cushty, relaxed, open posture.
  • Greet them with heat and enthusiasm.

This physique language and tone of voice helps your shoppers really feel seen and heard, and communicates that you’re joyful to see them.

If greeting somebody in the best way I element above feels awkward to you, I extremely advocate you apply within the mirror or with a trusted pal or colleague. It’s very potential to hone this talent till it looks like second nature to you.

Remember that these seemingly small particulars could make an enormous distinction in the best way the shopper or affected person will really feel throughout their work with you.

2. Create Meaningful Connections

Once you’ve made an amazing first impression and your shopper is prepared to work with you, it’s time to construct significant connections. One means to do that is to take a honest curiosity in your shopper and what’s necessary to them.

Are there specific world occasions they carry up throughout their periods?
Do they volunteer their time with a selected charity?
Do they converse typically about their beloved youngsters or grandchildren?

You can use their pursuits to create significant connections by:

  • Actively listening once they’re speaking about what’s essential to them. This seems to be like utilizing eye contact, nodding your head, and giving verbal cues that you simply’re listening. Be real. People are in a position to detect when you’re faking curiosity.
  • Asking related follow-up questions on what your shopper is saying to present that you simply’re listening and perceive what they’re saying.
  • Asking questions on the identical matter at a later date to present continued curiosity and assist your shopper really feel heard and cared for.
  • Finding methods to become involved of their pursuits if attainable, i.e., when you run a charity bootcamp at your fitness center, perhaps the group they volunteer for may be the recipient of the raised funds one month, or perhaps you possibly can arrange a gaggle from the fitness center to take part in a charity stroll that advantages the group.

three. Lay the Building Blocks of Trust

Being an amazing coach relies upon an amazing deal on belief, and so as to lay the constructing blocks of belief together with your shopper, you need to have two issues:

  • Knowledge (and the power to share it in a approach that’s well-received)
  • Humanity

To be thought-about educated, you don’t have to have many years of faculty and teaching beneath your belt. You merely have to be competent sufficient to assist your shopper attain their objectives in a protected approach, and be devoted to ongoing analysis, studying, and increasing your teaching toolbox.

(One good way to do that is to join our mini-course, What You Don’t Know About Coaching & Training Women, valued at $299, however at present available for FREE for a limited time!)

Clients need to work with somebody who is aware of what they’re speaking about, and is assured of their information whereas holding an open thoughts. They additionally worth a health skilled who can clarify complicated details about health, health, and vitamin in phrases they will perceive and use.

Your shoppers will typically come to you feeling confused or nervous about conflicting info they only learn on-line or in a magazine, and it’s up to you to alleviate considerations, separate sensationalist headlines from details, and make clear what the analysis says, with out alienating your shopper, which brings us to our subsequent constructing block of belief: humanity.

Remember that entire, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care?” Yes. It applies right here, too.

If you can’t share your information in a approach that conveys compassion, empathy, tolerance, and understanding, your shopper is much less doubtless to be open to receiving that information.

For instance, right here’s a implausible case research instance from our upcoming GGS-1 Certification.

Knowledge Without Humanity

Client: “I just read that coconut oil is really bad for you, and now I’m worried because I’ve been using it and…”

Coach: “That’s all BS and lies! Don’t believe what the media says!”

In the instance above, the coach didn’t:

  • Practice lively listening.
  • Empathize with the shopper.
  • Address the shopper’s concern.
  • Do something to dissipate the shopper’s fear.
  • Offer knowledge or info to help their reasoning.

Knowledge With Humanity

Client: “I heard about this detox tea which is supposed to work great. My co-worker used it and lost five pounds in one week, and now I’m wondering if I should try it, too.”

Coach: [Smiles, looks curious and engaged.] “That’s really interesting. Tell me, what sounds most attractive to you about using this tea?”

Client: “Well, if it makes me lose five pounds in one week, I’ll take it!”

Coach: “Fair sufficient. So lets say that what you’re in search of is the load loss. [Reflecting back to the client what they have said.] OK, nice. Now inform me extra, for you, wouldn’t it matter what sort of weight you misplaced?”

Client: “What do you mean?”

Coach: “Do you remember when we learned about the kinds of weight that the body can lose? Water weight, fat mass, lean mass, and all that?”

Client: [Nods as they remember this lesson] “Oh, right. Yes.”

Coach: [Checks client’s cues that they understand, and are able to move on with the conversation.] “OK, well, in this case, these types of teas work by causing you to lose water weight.”

Client: “Oh, so it’s not body fat.”

Coach: “Right, exactly. You got it. So if you try this tea, you might get this effect. Now, this boils down to your true goals and wishes, since we’re following your agenda: Do you just want to see the scale number move down, even if that number comes back up within a few days? If you’re OK with that, then sure thing, give the tea a try. There’s nothing wrong with that.” [Validating, encouraging exploration and safe experimentation.]

Client: [Disappointed] “Well, no. I don’t want to waste my money. I want real weight loss, I want to slim down.”

Coach: “I can see you’re disappointed. It’s tough when all these products make it sound so easy. I’m sorry.” [Empathizing.]

Client: “I just get so desperate, and all these ideas start sounding good.”

Coach: [Continuing to empathize and validate.]  “I hear you. It positive can really feel like a battle, particularly when progress strikes so slowly. But you’re doing so nicely, and you’ve got me supporting and cheering for you. You’re doing the best issues. Don’t surrender! And thanks for trusting me to ask about this stuff. I actually worth and respect that. I’m all the time right here to reply your questions.

In the above instance, the coach:

  • Listened to their shopper.
  • Embraced the thought.
  • Proposed beneath which circumstances this concept is a good suggestion.
  • Included the shopper as a collaborator in deciding which subsequent steps to take.
  • Empathized with the frustration their shopper felt.

Instead of dismissing their shopper’s concept as one thing ridiculous, or main their shopper to really feel silly, this dialog helped the shopper really feel heard, revered, and understood, and diminished any resistance.

four. Understand Cornerstones of Good Communication

Good communication expertise are key so as talk successfully together with your shoppers, and be an amazing coach. “Good” communication includes each verbal and non-verbal communication, in addition to written communication, and are expertise that may be honed over time with apply.

I already coated a number of the necessary non-verbal communication like an enormous smile, eye contact, and relaxed, open posture, however listed here are a number of extra essential issues to do (or keep away from) so as to talk to your shopper that they’re your prime precedence throughout their periods with you:


  • Take your time when emailing or sending your shopper a textual content message. Sending brief, abbreviated responses communicates to your shopper that you simply don’t have time for them or they aren’t necessary to you. (Of course, there’s a flip aspect to this. Setting boundaries and expectations with shoppers is necessary, however that’s a whole weblog submit in itself).
  • Be considerate about your phrase selection when writing to a shopper by way of e mail, textual content, or social media. Consider whether or not your message might be acquired or misinterpreted by the reader. Pay somewhat additional consideration to make sure that you’re delivering the message you need your shopper to obtain.
  • Spend extra time asking questions and listening to your shopper than you do lecturing, telling, or giving unsolicited recommendation.


  • Texting or enjoying in your telephone throughout your shopper’s coaching session.
  • Chatting with different trainers or members whereas your shopper performs their workouts.
  • Walking away and leaving your shopper unattended.
  • Starting conversations about subjects in a roundabout way associated to your shopper’s coaching.
  • Responding to emails or messages throughout a session with a shopper.

Practicing these behaviors will permit you to hone your communication expertise and assist deepen your relationship together with your shoppers.

As you’ll be able to see, there’s a whole lot of overlap with the methods concerned in making significant connections and constructing belief together with your shoppers, and many of those methods may be carried out into your follow instantly.

As with any new behavior or expertise — even for coaches and health professionals! — it’s essential to begin slowly. Adopt no multiple to two new habits at any given time to guarantee your new habits stick, earlier than making an attempt to undertake extra.

If you’d like to study extra about what it takes to be an awesome coach, enroll in our FREE mini-course, What You Don’t Know About Coaching & Training Women, valued at $299 and available for FREE for a limited time.

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