Soft skills rarely get the attention they deserve, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not valuable in the workplace. More and more, organizations are recognizing how soft skills in the workplace differentiate great employees (and businesses) from good ones. If you look in the dictionary, a soft skill is defined as the personal attributes that enable someone to interact harmoniously and effectively with others. This is key to being a successful employee regardless what’s your position is, a personal trainer, sales representative, marketer, administrator, receptionist,..etc. In many ways, soft skills are actually the hardest skills to develop. Successful soft skills training for employees requires dedication from both employees and the organization. Employees must be eager to develop themselves, and the organization must be ready to provide opportunities and a supportive environment for them to do so.
WHAT SOFT SKILLS DO PERSONAL TRAINERS & FITNESS INSTRUCTORS NEED?
1. Effective Communication Skills – communication is not just about talking. All of your clients learn in different ways; are you able to adjust your communication skills for each client? Some people learn by doing, some by watching, some learn by listening to your advice/how to execute an exercise. You need
to figure out which learning method your client prefers and be adaptable from client to client, session to session.
2. Listening Skills – Whilst we spend a lot of time in our sessions giving advice, it is essential that you can listen to your clients. I’m not talking about what their views are on the latest episode of EastEnders, but their views on how they feel their program is going, the progress they are making, any obstacles they are facing in achieving their goals. If you fail to listen and understand then you will fail to deliver what they want because the likelihood is that you won’t understand what they want to achieve.
3. Be Empathetic – being empathic doesn’t mean to be a soft personal trainer. But to have the understanding that we all have issues which life throws at us and understanding these situations with clients and looking at ways to work around them and still help them achieve their goals makes you a great personal trainer.
4. Honesty & Integrity – You need to ensure that you are honest with your clients about their goals. If losing 2 stone in 4 weeks is not possible then explain why to your client; they will respect you for being honest. Likewise, being honest and giving a bit of tough love every now again if a client is slacking towards achieving their goals is also ok. Just remember the point about empathy above – it’s important to workout when empathy is important or when a reality check is required.
5. Adaptability – A client’s progress isn’t going to plan, what do you do?….just plod on with your program and mutter to yourself that the reason they aren’t making progress is because they aren’t working hard enough. NO!!!! You talk (communicate) to them, listen to them, show some empathy and adapt their workouts and training schedule so they still make progress.
Take away tip
As a fitness facility manager, it’s important to make sure that each member of your staff gain and master all the soft skills required to provide an excellent service to your clients. Professionalism is not all about technicality and scientific knowledge, soft skills knowledge and practice is your way to achieve excellence work environment and gain the desired feedback and loyalty from your clients.
Q&A: What’s the meaning of adaptability?
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