Here’s my picture with my personal fitness trainer Rajesh. I contacted him a few months before my Himalayan trek in June this year. I wanted to work on my fitness overall and specifically on strengthening my lower back. So that I was fully prepared for the rigorous trek.
Rajesh designed a customized fitness program for me, and I worked sincerely on the program for a few months before the trek. My trek was super successful. I had absolutely no problem during or after the trek.
You may want to read about my amazing experience about the trek here – Discover the summit within
In many ways, I see that the role of a Personal Coach (Life Coach, Career Coach, Executive Coach etc.) is similar to that of a Personal Trainer, where the Coach works with the client to help them achieve their goals.
Here are some of the commonalities that I observed:
Common goal: The personal fitness trainer and the client are working towards a common goal. It may be enhancing strength, stamina, endurance, weight loss or weight gain etc. In my case, Rajesh and me were working in unison on improving my fitness overall and lower back strength specifically. Similarly, in coaching, I work with my clients on goals that are important to them. We work together as a Team.
Ownership is with the client: The goal is decided by the client and he takes complete ownership for the journey to reach there. As my personal trainer, Rajesh is available to support me but I need to be regular to the gym and do the exercise. Rajesh cannot do the exercise for me. Same is in Coaching. The coach is there to support the client towards their goals but the clients have to do the work with complete dedication.
Personal focus: My fitness program was designed based on my needs. Rajesh used his knowledge and expertise to design a program that I needed. Similarly, coach works with his clients with complete focus on their needs. He leverages his coaching expertise to enable the client to achieve his/her goals. A coach helps clients to enhance their awareness around the topic and support them in taking powerful actions.
Accountability: My personal trainer sends me a message in the morning on days my personal training is scheduled. And he writes “I will be waiting at the gym for you.” Or “Looking forward to see you today at the gym at 4 PM.” One, it acts like a reminder for me in my busy life and secondly, he holds me accountable for doing what we had agreed upon at the start. In the same way, I hold my clients accountable for what they agreed to work on during or after the session. I act as their Accountability partner. This is one of the critical success factors in coaching engagement.
Encouragement & support: On certain days, I would say to Rajesh, “Hey, today I am feeling tired so let’s skip these exercises.” He would quickly respond, “No Sir, I am sure you can do it.” That kind of encouragement helped me always to complete the whole exercise routine without getting sloppy about it. Similarly, in a coaching conversation a client may say, “I don’t think I can do that, it’s beyond my capability.” And then as a Coach I would say, “I believe in you, you can do it.” And the client is willing to give it a try.
This happened recently with one of my clients when he came up with his Achievements list reluctantly and was pleasantly surprised. Read more here
Honest feedback: If I observe some language patterns or behavior patterns with my clients, I would ask my client,” Hey, I observed something about your behavior here. May I share that with you?” And if the client is willing to receive feedback, I offer my honest feedback with my observations, data and facts. I wrote my last blog around this – Are you beating yourself too much? Same is with the personal trainer, if he sees that I am doing certain exercises with a wrong posture he would correct me immediately to avoid any injury.
Trust: Rajesh built trust with me through his sincerity, competency, dedication and honesty. He would be there when I needed him. He would always speak in my interest. A coach does the same; he builds trust by listening to the client without bias, by showing up for coaching sessions punctually every time, by being fully present and focused on what the client wants, using his expertise for enabling the client move forward.
Up the Game: Rajesh designed the program to incrementally up the challenge level of my exercises. For the first one month, he recommended only floor exercises. Later he added some cardio exercises, upper body and lower body exercises. He ensured that my challenge level was increased gradually. As a coach, I also like to challenge my clients to the next level once I see them getting into a comfort zone. For example, one of my clients wanted to enhance her network within the organization. She had taken up a Game of talking to 3 new people every week. We upped the Game to 5 new people every week after 2 weeks of practice. It was fun and challenge for the client.
Many of you may have worked with a personal fitness trainer and achieved results, like I did.
Now, have you considered working with a Coach? If not, give it a try.
You achieved fitness and health goals with a personal trainer; with a Coach you can achieve life and career goals. And much more.