Bad Coach, Good Coach, Part 3

By Shawn McQueen, Mentor for Two-Brain Group Coaching Course

This is the third post in our series covering the differences between good and bad coaches. If you want to catch up on the other parts of this story, do so here:

Part 1

Part 2

Bad coach had a different approach if someone was late. They had a tendency to be a little “reactive.” Sometimes they’d joke “20 burpees” and sometimes they were serious: “Give me 20 burpees.” 

I would notice the relationship or dynamic change between the person who was late and the bad coach.  They’d feel like they were getting punished.  Other things would present themselves as problems too, like avoiding them within class (not coaching them) because he was disturbed they would be late (took it as disrespectful!). Bad coach cost us members while good coach worked to solve problems with members. 

Their approaches to the typical disruptive talkers within class were world’s apart in professionalism. 

I once heard bad coach speaking to a member (who happened to be a friend of his) about talking during class, razzing them and even using foul language within his razz. Their relationship slowly dwindled. 

Good coach had a couple other methods when it came to the talkers. His approaches brought him and the members in alignment and on the same team. Three of the most common I saw were: 

  1. He’d just stop talking and look in their direction. 

This seemed to help draw attention to the member talking indirectly and they realized it wasn’t a time to be talking over the coach. 

And he didn’t even have to say anything. 

2. He’d simply say their name with a little guidance in a friendly manner. 

It sounded like, “Ken, give me one second to go over this, and then we’ll break off, cool?” 

People always responded well to these two options.

If it was something that continued he’d move to step 3.

3. He’d talk to them after class and he utilized what we call the SALT method

S- something god

A-ask your question 

L-layer in the action

T-thank them

I overheard this more than once and it went something like,

Something good: 

“Ken, you looked really strong today in class, how’d everything feel?”

(he would open with something to draw them in, that they could agree upon and that the member would feel good about.)

Ken would reply, and after his response he’d move on to:

Ask your question:

“Ken, I couldn’t quite help but notice there were a couple of moments you and Jeff were talking, not really paying attention during some of the coaching portion of classes, first is everything okay?” 

(I thought this was most impressive, how he re-routed his observation into a harmless question) 

9 out of 10 times everything would be fine, and they’d apologize but I always saw good coach follow up with this question regardless,

Layer in the action:

“I love that you love working out with Jeff, you guys seem to hit it off really well! Could you do me a huge favor and save your conversations for the break outs so you can both get the most out of class and not disrupt your fellow members? 

He at times would even add…

“I would never want you guys to lose the respect and how much people look up to you within class because of distractions or not paying attention.”

(His indirect approach and tying the class to his actions always seemed to hit the right emotional buttons of the member. They always said yes!) 

Thank them:

He would then, sincerely and authentically thank them.

Good coach was great at solving these little issues that always seemed to arise and could get people moving in the right direction, together. 

While bad coach, well he would actually end up creating some more for the gym… 

Stay tuned for Part 4.

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