This is an excerpt from Foundations of Professional Personal Training-3rd Edition by canfitpro.
By Kim Lavender, FAHP
Your success as a Personal Training Specialist will depend on, and be directly aligned with, the success and satisfaction of your clients. Emotional intelligence, the ability to understand and manage different feelings in yourself and others and to use emotional information to guide your thinking and behaviour (Goleman and Boyatzis 2008), will help you respond to the feelings your clients experience throughout their relationship with you. To be effective as a Personal Training Specialist, you need a keen connection with the clients you are working with and the transitions they will experience. Demonstrating emotional intelligence as a Personal Training Specialist can include the following:
- Recognizing that your own mood influences your thoughts, communication, and client perception
- Asking clients how they are feeling about their day, their training session, or their results, and responding with empathy (relating to how they feel with care and support)
- Pausing to think before speaking or acting to avoid making promises that you cannot keep
- Reframing negative thoughts or self-doubt into a positive outlook, for both yourself and your client
- Demonstrating a growth mindset, being open to learning from mistakes and constantly seeking self-improvement
- Working with integrity by doing what you say you will do and living up to your client or workplace commitments
- Recognizing others, especially your clients, for their hard work and dedication
- Asking for, and responding professionally, to constructive feedback
- Apologizing even when you feel you did not do something wrong, recognizing that the health of a relationship can hinge on acting with humility and grace
These examples tie into your ability to communicate, listen, and read others. Using emotional intelligence will uncover how to think, respond, and behave in a way that connects with your clients’ mindset. Your clients’ mindset includes key information including what motivates them, why they are striving toward their fitness goals, what may hold them back, what beliefs might be limiting their potential, and what factors influence their success. This information is fundamental to the client–trainer relationship.