I call it Super Coaching. Others call it tough love. Call it whatever you want!
But, when I ran our weight-management office in Newport Beach, CA back in the early 90’s – I was NOT AFRAID..!
That’s right… I was not afraid to look a parent (client) in the eyes and lay-down what is most aptly described as a guilt trip.
But, wait. I’m not mean-spirited! It was always for a good cause — THEIR KIDS..!
And, I’d back it up with a paper handout (you can download – scroll down) just to make sure my little sermon was not quickly forgotten…
Here’s the funny thing.
Ultimately, they would always thank me.
Then, they’d send me more referrals.
You can easily do this, too!
Re-frame The Pursuit
Here’s how it worked:
Quite often, about 3 or 4 weeks into a program, some clients would just feel like they were not getting the results quickly enough.
Remember, most consumers are bombarded every day with bogus advertising claims of losing 5 pounds a week… or 20 pounds in 20 days…. and all the other nonsense.
And, even though they KNEW IT WASN’T TRUE… they still heard it. It still affected them.
This is where you really need to be a super coach!
If I knew the client had children… I would simply change the playing field and say something like this:
“Look, I understand this is really important to you for all kinds of reasons. And, I know you’re feeling a bit discouraged with your own progress. But, everything is going exactly right. Just not as fast as you’d like.
So, let’s re-frame your thinking for one week. Let’s not even focus on you at all. Instead, let’s focus on your children.”
And then we’d spend the next 10 minutes talking about his or her kids. Their lifestyle habits:
- Eating habits and foods
- How much exercise
- How much T.V., video games, mobile devices
- Friends, interests, hobbies, etc.
And, then I’d offer the handout.
This almost always resulted in some feelings of guilt or remorse. Especially among my “high-achiever” parents who, every morning, ran out the door with a cup of coffee and piece of toast. “What kind of example is this?”
Other questions might include:
- Do you sit down together, as a family, for dinner?
- What kind of snacks are around the house?
- Any family activities like hiking, sporting events, anything?
Then the discussion would turn to how, as a parent, he or she could become the absolute best role model for the kid(s).
Amazing Motivation & Focus
In the world of psychology, this is called “deflection” where we deflect attention away from one thing and focus on something else.
In this case, from the client’s own personal pursuit “weight-management” — to that of becoming a role model for the children. It’s still the same protocol. Just a different reason. A different “framing” of the same subject.
It’s almost magical how well this works.
Your Role as a Super Coach
I often consult health and fitness professionals to abandon their pre-conceived ideas of their roles in weight-management.
Some administrators seem to think they are almost doctors with nothing more than an academic approach toward their clients.
But when you think about it, the protocol is not really that difficult. The hardest part of a credible weight-management program– where the goal is to change lifestyle habits and behaviors — is keeping your clients motivated and on track.
The most successful weight-management administrators are those who see their roles as “COACH” or “MOTIVATOR.”
Even if it means a little bit of guilt…
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