By Shawn McQueen, Two Brain Group Coaching Mentor
Today we’re back to finish up our list of 7 interpersonal skills that keep members around. If you missed part 1, check it out here.
#4- Rapport [build a relationship of responsiveness]
Rapport is an important skill to be able to establish with anyone.
From a complete stranger, to a new member to that member that is very different from you.
You create rapport 1st by eagerly being interested in the other person.
In step 1 we talked about caring.
Within your conversations, paying attention, remembering their name, what they are talking about, and attentively LISTENING and giving them your undivided attention.
By #3 asking them questions.
As Coaches we should absolutely be able to have rapport, the skill of creating a relationship of responsiveness with ANYONE in our gym.
A walk in, a drop in, a new member, a veteran member or a teammate.
Rapport does not take long to establish.
Some helpful tools to establish rapport quickly –
- The 3 E’s: Be excited, eager and engaged with whoever you’re talking to.
- Ask questions and really listen.
- Express and communicate back what you admire, heard or what you want to learn more about what they said.
- Let your face show you are 100% engaged and care about what they are saying.
- And lastly, use the tool of matching & mirroring
Match their energy, vocal tone, state or even buzz words that they say.
If they are speaking at a moderate tone, you speak back in the same tone.
If they are excited and passionate, match that tone back.
Mirroring means, if they put their hands in their pockets, you can mirror them back by doing the same.
Matching and mirroring is the EASIEST way to gain rapport because subconsciously we are seeing, thinking and feeling “I like this person, they are like me.”
And don’t worry, they won’t notice your mirroring them.
Speaking of noticing, that’s number 5.
5- Be Perceptive & notice things
How good are you at noticing things within people?
Small things like a haircut, a new outfit or new shoes?
Or something like when they got a new jump rope?
Or that you haven’t seen them in a week?
Or that you have seen them 5 times this week.
People LOVE to be noticed.
Noticing shows #1 that you care.
That you pay attention.
That you are perceptive.
Most of us walk around unseen.
And when noticed, we get flooded with an amazing emotional response when someone notices something about us, like we got our haircut, or we’re losing weight, or we lifted more weight by 5lbs.
Noticing the ‘gym related’ stuff is easy.
The more important stuff is the non fitness related stuff:
Hair, nails, clothes, shoes, jewelry, you get the idea.
But the most important thing to notice is their state.
Noticing when they are OFF.
When their energy isn’t what it is normally.
Or they seem upset, down or that they could be in pain.
I always take these moments to truly lean in as a genuine human being who’s invested in their well being and happiness by checking in.
By letting them know I’ve noticed something, I care and I’m here.
The gym stuff is irrelevant to me at this moment.
What they see, feel, hear and is reflected back to them is a person who does not want to see them suffering.
This leads us to #6…
6- Transmitting Belief –
How well do you know your people?
How certain are you in what you are doing?
One of the most underrated yet obvious connections (& leadership skills for that matter) is the ability to transmit belief to another human being.
What do I mean?
You know those people who have heavy self doubt in their physical abilities?
You know that person who can definitely do the 35lbs dumbbell but chooses the 20lbs.
Or asks you “what do you think I should do Coach?”
An amazing ability a coach has & we need to regularly tap into is transmitting beliefs.
We see in others what they at times cannot see in themselves.
And getting them to take that leap of faith is a huge build of trust and connection.
This can also speak to specific communication skills like when we are at the whiteboard, leading the warm up, movement specific coaching breakdowns.
Speaking with levels of certainty, that whoever you are leading, believes and follows you.
Because your words, body language, tone, facial expressions are all congruent with a level of belief in what you are saying, doing and thinking.
And doing this correctly this is how we as Coaches transmit belief.
#7- Meet their needs –
The last skill to build better relationships that connect you with others is the ability to meet their needs.
Eliminate for a moment the thought of “gym needs” like wanting to improve, lose weight or obtain a certain movement.
Human beings have needs.
Not desires, not wants, but needs.
The need to be seen, to feel important.
The need to be heard, listened to.
The need to have connections with others.
The need to be appreciated.
How good are we at meeting these basic human needs?
How good are we at identifying the 8 most common undesirable emotions our members experience and how to overturn them?
This is a deeper layer often left untouched yet obvious for those who have mastery in interpersonal skills.
All human beings crave and have those same needs.
In varying degrees but we all possess them.
Meeting those needs helps people feel happy, important and fulfilled,
Like their lives matter.
Because they do.