James FitzGerald’s Weekly AMA: Communicating with Friends and Family
As coaches, we are used to clients coming to us and seeking advice, but no matter how knowledgeable we may be, sometimes our friends and family just won’t listen. In this weeks Ask Me Anything sneak peek, James FitzGerald, gives his top tips for communicating your coaching knowledge to the ones closest to you.
It’s How They Perceive You
When you walk into the gym you put your coaching hat on, clients refer to you as the coach, seek out your advice as the coach, and expect you to coach. But you need to understand this is not the case at home. Your friends and family do not always perceive you as the coach even though it might be your profession. Instead, they see you as their relationship whether that be father, mother, brother, or friend. So do not take offense if they do not listen to your advice, just recognize that they see you differently and therefore if you truly want to pass on your knowledge you must communicate with them differently.
(Resource: Learn our top communication strategies here.)
Two Ways James Communicates With Those Close to Him
1) Plant Seeds
The first communication strategy James recommends is planting seeds. Instead of directly making suggestions he recommends sharing knowledge that is similar to your advice from another source. “Hopefully, over time they can grow fond of this advice since it was not directly from you,” adds James.
EX: “Hey, I read that (reliable source) recommends eating a certain amount of protein per day”.
2) Connect Through an Alternative Source
The second strategy James recommends is communicating through an alternative source. “Find out who they look up to for health and fitness advice, that aligns with your message, and send your friend or family member to them with their question . . . I used to have other coaches do it for me and my doctor do it for me,” says James. Communicating through an alternative source will get your message across without the bias of their perception.
James ends this AMA with the suggestion that you should have the goal of being able to communicate with your family and friends the same way you would communicate with clients. “When you have done this you will have truly mastered fitness coaching”.
Communicating your knowledge with clients and those closest to you is not always easy. But by mastering some simple trust-building strategies you can build a relationship that is receptive to two-way communication. Learn these simple trust-building strategies in our introductory coaching course The Free Professional Coaching Blueprint.