Integrity – the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.
Fitness instructors (be that Gym instructors, PTs or Group Exercise instructors) are encouraged to demonstrate integrity towards our clients.
If you do not show a genuine care towards your client(s) and provide clear, honest advice – from goal setting through to working towards those goals you will lose those clients.
Sometimes this will mean saying things they do not want to hear- you will not get a six pack in 2 weeks just from doing some sit ups, lifting weights will not turn you into Arnie. To do otherwise and suggest that you can help someone achieve unrealistic goals in unrealistic timeframes would show a lack of integrity. But you also need to phrase this in a way that the client will understand and mean they still want to be your client (as opposed to a way that makes them think ‘well they can’t help me I’ll go and find someone who can’).
Equally – hearing what we think the client is saying rather than what they are actually saying, because we are caught up in our own misconceptions or too busy trying to defend our own beliefs, will in turn cause distrust between customer and service provider.
Therefore, demonstrating integrity – a key skill for fitness professional – essentially comes down to communicating effectively.
To be an effective fitness professional you need to be an effective communicator.
Or the flip side – A brilliant product can be undermined by poor communication.
Because if you mis-communicate your message people can lose faith in what you say – then even when your message is brilliant people will still question and doubt you – put simply the trust has gone.
As fitness professionals there are many skills we need to develop and always areas where we can expand and improve our knowledge – CPD is a wonderful thing. I do think our skills need to go beyond pure fitness knowledge and we need to work on our communication and listening skills just as much as our squat technique in order to be successful.
I believe at school they called them transferable skills.
No matter where you work, in what industry, and even in our personal lives developing these skills can be massively useful in not creating unnecessary conflict – which is always a good thing.