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Speaking to a new group of clients I can see that they absorb just about all they possibly can handle in one sitting if you focus your thoughts and directly make your points on the topic at hand clear and concise. Too much filler and you’ve lost them totally. Now take the veteran where they want to know specifics, such as grams of this and oz’s of that. Weight of this and load of that. Different attention spans and detail oriented individuals.
Getting the individual to become part of a whole is work, and work in progress even after some time spent in the box. People’s perception of what it entails to be a true member of a team really does not exist outside of their immediate family circle especially if they were never exposed to organized sports, clubs, or even work committees. It just so apparent when you speak to a person one on one and they express terror or embarrassment when asked to be part of an organized event or to belong to a Team.
What does it say about someone when they are only looking out for number one? Admirable some would say. Ridiculous and Selfish others would say.
As frustrating as it may seem for those asking for that member to being part of the equation/ team, we have to look a little deeper into their hold out. It can be cultural, social, psychosocial – maybe they are more comfortable you just putting it out there for the entire group to be included instead of selecting a single person at a time? Amongst the most terrifying things I found while growing up was getting picked last for a pick up game of tackle football, softball, or beach volley ball. No one likes being picked last, and possibly one other thing is having the pickers ask if you were even going to play to begin with. “Like I was just standing there for my health wanting to play marbles while all of my friends were playing softball, etc..”
Ok, you say this never happened to you. Fine and dandy, but it does have a little to do with that certain person(s) for holding out. We just never know until we sit and speak with the individual and they are ready to communicate with you in return. Some things just can’t be forced. Peer pressure helps, a little nudge aids a bit, and at times both may push them the other way from joining or becoming part of the Team. We as Coaches, Trainers, Mentors must watch body language (turning and fidgeting), eye movement (no contact), hands (wringing / hiding), arms (crossed=guarded/defensive or just cold), language = What is said and in what context.
Just because the conversation was some time ago and it was or wasn’t uncomfortable for a person, it can rear it’s head some time later. Pay close attention to their demeanor when they are speaking to you or clients. Make sure and take the time to really pull someone close (not physically) into the inner circle of the members/clients/friends at your box. Not one person I’ve spoken with here will tell you that they joined the box, because they saw a lot of people working out and they wanted to just workout alone.
Listening is a special skill, shut your trap and really pay attention. It goes a long way when you bring up a topic that is personal to each individual and bring it up to check up on them at a later date. The small things in life mean a lot to so many, you included. Like remembering ALL of your clients Names and something personal about each and everyone of them. Don’t just focus on the job title they hold or not hold. Focus on them and their personal lives, and on their individuality, goals, frustrations, fears, anxieties, strengths and desires. Paying close attention to detail will get the “I” to become part of a “TEAM” in no time flat. Why? You have included them by making them feel wanted, and most of all safe and nurtured.