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How to Coach These 4 Personality Types

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As a health and fitness coach, it is important to be able to identify the different personality types of your clients and members. This will help you better understand how they communicate, and how you can best coach them to success. There are four main personality types, which are based on the Platinum Rule. In this blog post, we will discuss each of these personality types and how you can best work with them.

#1 – Directors: Directors are driven by two governing needs: to control and achieve. Directors are goal-oriented go-getters who are most comfortable when they are in charge of people and situations. They want to accomplish many things now so they focus on no-nonsense approaches to bottom-line results. Directors seek expedience and are not afraid to bend the rules. They figure it is easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission. Directors accept challenges, take authority and plunge headfirst into solving problems. They are fast-paced, task-oriented, and work quickly and impressively by themselves — which means they become annoyed with delays. Directors are driven and dominating, which can make them stubborn, impatient, and insensitive to others. Directors are so focused that they forget to take the time to smell the roses.

How to coach this personality type:

  • Be on time if not early, this means to start your class or session with the member at the selected time.
  • Make sure you give them clear directives or they may self-assess too much and push themselves/hold themselves back to an extreme.
  • Be firm in your directions, and teach them the WHY behind what they are doing.
  • Make sure you explain the reason and benefit behind stretching.  They are notorious for leaving before stretching.

#2 – Socializers: The Socializer’s primary strengths are enthusiasm, charm, persuasiveness, and warmth. They are friendly and enthusiastic, and they like to be where the action is. They thrive on admiration, acknowledgment, and compliments. They are “idea people” who excel at getting others excited about their vision. They are eternal optimists with an abundance of charisma — qualities that help them influence people and build alliances to accomplish their goals. Socializers care less about winning or losing than how they look while playing the game. As wonderful as Socializers may sound, they do have their weaknesses: impatience, an aversion to being alone, and a short attention span — they become bored easily. Socializers are risk-takers who base many of their decisions on intuition, which is not inherently bad. When given only a little data, however, Socializers tend to make sweeping generalizations. Some of them are, therefore, exaggerators. Socializers are not inclined to do their homework or check out information. They are more likely to assume someone else will do it.

How to coach this personality type:

  • BE EXCITED!  Make sure you celebrate successes and the achievement of goals.  If these go unnoticed or unannounced, they won’t come back.
  • Make sure you give very specific deliverables, and if you give them a plan outside of their training session, they need to understand to follow it to a T.
  • Stay engaged with them the whole time and try to minimize sightline to friends/family/love interests while training or in class, they will be thinking about that the majority of the time.
  • They are your biggest cheerleader, so let them take the selfie with you and ask them to tag you in it.  This will help you with marketing your class or training sessions.

#3 – Thinkers: Thinkers are analytical, persistent, systematic people who enjoy problem-solving. Thinkers are detail-oriented, which makes them more concerned with content than style. Thinkers are task-oriented people who enjoy perfecting processes and working toward tangible results. They’re always in control of their emotions and may become uncomfortable around very outgoing people, e.g. Socializers. Thinkers have high expectations of themselves and others, which can make them overly critical. Their tendency toward perfectionism, when taken to an extreme, can cause “paralysis by over-analysis.” Thinkers are slow and deliberate decision-makers. They do research, make comparisons, determine risks, calculate margins of error and then take action. Thinkers become irritated by surprises and glitches, hence their cautious decision-making. Thinkers are also skeptical, so they like to see promises in writing.

How to coach this personality type:

  • Make them a part of the plan if possible. If not possible, make sure that you are very specific and do not deviate from the plan.  No Surprises!
  • Stay away from feelings-orientated goals, and lean on clear numerical/sensation-based deliverables and expectations
  • Make sure you let them know when things are supposed to feel hard so they don’t become negative about themselves.
  • Let them know what they can expect in the next session/class

#4 – Relaters: Relaters are warm and nurturing individuals. They are the most people-oriented of the four styles. Relaters are excellent listeners, devoted friends, and loyal employees. Their relaxed disposition makes them approachable and warm. They develop strong networks of people who are willing to be mutually supportive and reliable. Relaters are excellent team players. Relaters are risk-averse. In fact, Relaters may tolerate unpleasant environments rather than risk change. They like the status quo and become distressed when disruptions are severe. When faced with change, they think it through, plan and accept it into their world. Relaters — more than the other types — strive to maintain personal composure, stability, and balance. In the office, Relaters are courteous, friendly, and willing to share responsibilities. They are good planners, persistent workers, and good at following through. Relaters go along with others, even when they do not agree because they do not want to rock the boat. Relaters are slow decision-makers for several reasons: their need for security, their need to avoid risk, and their desire to include others in the decision-making process.

How to coach this personality type:

  • This is the best personality type for team (a couple/2 friends/circuit) class/training session. They love to talk and listen.
  • They are hesitant to change and do well knowing in advance if there will be a change of format or style in the upcoming weeks.
  • They will not want to make decisions, so clear communication on expectations is key.
  • If you have someone new and you want to make sure that they are cared for/set up in a class or training session, pair them with a relator.

It is important to understand your own personality type, as well as the personality types of those around you. This will help you in becoming a better coach for yourself and others. What are some other ways that you can think of to coach each personality type? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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