Here's today's post, food for thought, and hopefully ACTION!
Ever had a conversation with some super clever?
One of those where you have no fucking idea what they are talking about..
...but you nod along and agree anyway!
Like, "hey Ant, what were you talking to Steve about?"
"I have no idea, but I didn't want to seem stupid by asking!"
Well, I'm worried that in fitness we are doing that every day to our clients.
And YOU guys who want to change your lives and get in shape
You're not asking the questions you think are stupid.
This is a problem.
On the one hand we have fitness professionals (fit pros) who are trying to appear scientific to fuel the ego.
On the other hand we have clients smiling, nodding but thinking.... 'wha da fuck this guy on about'
I had a great conversation last week where someone told me...
DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE YOUR OBVIOUS
Meaning; what come's across as obvious to me may not be obvious to the other person.
Here's a list of things that I once thought were obvious, next to the 'stupid question' the client could have asked, but didn't.....
fit pro: Don't eat carbs
client: What is a carb?
fit pro: Ok let's warm up
fit pro: Eat low carb
client: Can I eat fruit?
fit pro: Eat healthy fats
client: Fat's bad right?
fit pro: Let's go deadlift!
client: Won't that be bad for my back?
fit pro: Just grab a protein shake
client: Which protein powder should I buy?
fit pro: I want you to stretch your glutes and hip flexors every day
client: What are they?
I could go on and on....
Coaches in this situation then feel that clients aren't changing, or worse, are stupid and actively opposed to making a change.
Clients feel they will never understand and give up.
All we need (both parties) is the coaching habit.
THE COACHING HABIT
Recently I read an awesome book called the coaching habit.
As coaches we want to fix people, it's our calling in life.
In fact, most men in a relationship can identify with this...
...and ladies, your man will DEFINITELY have done this....
The lady tells the fella how she feels about something. Rather than listening and empathising, the man says:
"yeah but do this, this and this and it'll be fucking sorted love."
Men are fixers, BUT they should be listening.
Coaches are fixers, BUT they should be questioning.
So the coaching habit book has a ton of questions to ask:
"What do you think the solution is?"
"Why has that happened?"
"What can you see here that could change your opinion?"
"So what's on your mind?"
"How does that make you feel?"
"....and what else?"
USE THE QUESTIONS AND WE GET MAGIC!
So that's half the battle, asking questions. And having a good coach is someone who DOES NOT FIX THINGS.
But we can question ourselves too.
For example, 'How does that make me feel?'
Or my personal favourite from Tim Ferriss:
"If this (thing I'm struggling with) was easy, what would it look like?"
You probably know the answer.
But instead, we are all stuck in a cycle of looking for quick fixes, and coaches offering answers.
THE WORST TEACHER IN THE WORLD
Imagine you're back at school, in maths, day one.
The teacher stands at the board and says:
'2+2=4 and the square root of 16 is 4, everyone understand?'
Well, that would be a shit teacher - confusing the kids.
But they don't do that, teachers know the answers but have a process where we DISCOVER them rather than memorise them.
Learning IS the process of discovery, it is how you change your life.
Here's an example of NOT changing my life:
I remember memorising 3 political essays word for word for my politics A level. Yes, my memory is awesome.
But I knew nothing about politics, NOTHING.
I got a B. Can you believe that!
I still know nothing!
On paper I have an education in an area I do not understand.
But in reality, I was allowed to waste 2 years of my life at school 'learning politics'.
If you're stuck, out of shape and want to make a radical change, ask better questions - both of yourself and your coach.
If you're coaching clients, stop fixing their lives, start setting a process in place so they can fix themselves.
And remember, what you think is obvious probably isn't.
But rather than list answers for people to memorise, instead set a process of discovery, ask a question and check the other person get's it.
If you're being coached, ask better questions, just say "I don't understand" over and over again.
Make sure you learn things, rather than copying without query.
Or carry on as you have been, repeating knowledge from fit pros, or getting annoyed that your clients seem to be fighting you
All we have then is a frustrated coach and a client who quits.
Who's that helping?
....and how does that make you feel?