One of the first principles of the ‘law of attraction’ is to make a connection with someone. People may say that ‘first impressions last’ but this goes beyond being impressionable. To connect is the cornerstone of all relationships.
Now let’s take this into the coaching realm. How can we make that first encounter matter for our future client? The answer is actually insinuated. You must first ‘act as if’ it is your client you are treating. That means you are connecting by virtue of your confidence, passion and goodwill toward that client to be.
Rather than this being a fundamental principle of effective client acquisition (which that most certainly is), how about we think of deepening these connections to whole new level. In Principle #19 'Let your culture spread', we explored the image/symbol associated with this principle which is that of a triune nature to it.
What this symbolises is the connection not only between you and your client but to you and all your clients. Here is a summary of this symbol of connection building:
Coach to client = Personal
Coach to group (more than one client) = interpersonal
Client to client = transpersonal
By personalising your training methodology to one client, you soon find that even when teaching groups, maintaining an interpersonal approach is achieved through the same principles of connection building as with your solo client.
Strategies to help are:
Knowing everyone by name
Knowing something significant about each of your clients (whether solo or in groups)
Keeping a calendar for their birthdays
Celebrating their goals or personal best scores (for example performing a bodyweight pull-up for 5 reps)
Creating social events or opportunities to interact with clients and for clients to interact with each other outside of the training environment.
Creating an online forum or group exclusive to your clients
Having coach to client time before or after sessions and even scheduling regular fortnightly catch-ups will keep all checks and balances in place i.e. accountability and ensure the client is making progress and you as the coach are hold accountable for your role in ensuring their continued success.
The above strategies cover a key aspect of self-determination theory which is a theory on motivation which is ‘relatedness’. If we can continue to find unique and creative ways to chellange and motivate our clients through connection building our chances for their continued success and our fulfilment as coaches will likely increase.
Next time you embark on a training session; getting your team prepared for the next match or before stepping foot into the classroom before a bunch of kids; think of the triune approach to building connection. Give some of the strategies a go and I look forward to sharing with you our next principle ‘Seek Feedback’.
Until then, Keep reaching…