"People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care."
That was the main point I hammered home when delivering my talk on the Back to Basics stage at the ten year anniversary of Body Power.
The problem is that I see a lot of personal trainers, coaches and even nutritionists simply spouting the first law of thermodynamics (essentially calories is V calories out) when clients do not get the results that the coaches had hoped for.
I'm guessing that the logic is to shame the people they work with into compliance, so that their ultimate nutrition plan that they created (without their clients contribution) can work it's magic...
Now most people know that overeating can lead to weight gain. You'd be hard pressed to find someone on this planet who,
The stone cold truth is that this golden fact nugget is not why people come to you for help. Does this surprise you?
In my experience clients come to me to;
If all you do is spout nutrition facts and laws of thermodynamics then you are no better than google search (because lets keep it real here, when it comes to information there is probably nothing we as Coaches know that you couldn't find online).
For some, this fact is a bitter pill to swallow.
"Compassion fatigue occurs when you try to fix clients.
As a Coach, I noticed that when I shifted my approach to being Client Focused v Coach Focused I no longer suffered from compassion fatigue, or the desire to "sack" clients.
I recognised that the people I now work with are not broken and don't need fixing (you are more than just the situation that you are in).
That when I noticed this, I gave them the opportunity to take ownership of their results, and the coaching process.
Do you know what happened because of that?
The people I worked with were more likely to stick to the process, and were able to make changes that stuck for the long term. Much to their joy, they continued to get results long after they finished working with me.
That's why I strongly believe that while the laws of thermodynamics have their place (I mean - it's science bro!) when you are dealing with human beings who have complex needs, values, beliefs, and personal histories, you really need to scratch beneath the surface and explore. You must look at the bigger picture, if you are to be truly effective.
This is where your soft skills as a Coach are worth their weight in gold. Look into Motivitional Interviewing, NLP, Solution Focused Therapy - whatever methods that will get you the edge.
While in principle weight loss nutrition is simple, in reality it can be far more complicated. Just take a look at this systems analysis approach to the multiple factors involved in weightloss (prepare to have your mind blown).
So what was my take home message for the crowd at Body Power this year?
It's not about how much you know. The deeper question is,
"Who do I need to be for my client?"