Coaching Principle: ‘Building Trust’

‘Whoever is careless with truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters’ - Albert Einstein

As we are dealing with personal training; group training and sporting teams; earning the trust of the client(s) and athletes is of utmost importance. Building an emotional bank account requires you to not only lead by example; it asks that you keep your word and display a level of professionalism that ensures you gain the respect from clients.

Building trust is closely linked with building connections. Yet before we can build deeper connections with clients we must focus on strategies and habits to build trust. Trust is inextricably linked with Principle #14 ‘Keep true to your word’ and focuses on our actions which are based on our pattern of thoughts and what we say.

In 7 Habits of highly effective people, Stephen Covey brilliantly describes trust as a ‘matter of transaction’. If I earn your trust, then I put a deposit into the ‘emotional bank account’ we both share. If I do not live up to my word and continue to let you down, then there are ‘consequences and therefore withdrawals to the emotional bank account we share’.

In his brilliant book, ‘A client centred approach to personal training’, Roy Sugarman discusses the importance of the trainer/coach as a trusted authority whom the client looks up to as a professional who is looking out for their best interests. As soon as we breach those expectations or the code of ethic you have established (we will cover this on more details under ‘values’ at some other point) trust becomes diminished or at the very worst LOST.

Keeping trust is a priority that will ensure you gain and keep respect with family, peers and your clients.

Ways to build trust are:

  • Show up at least a few minutes early to your sessions

  • Keep to your word. If you say you will get them a diet journal, then you must produce.

  • If you promise that they will gain a six pack, then you must work together to achieve this goal. Obviously, there is accountability so be careful setting promises where the client still needs to follow the plan

Ways to kill trust:

  • Show up late to sessions every now and again

  • Don’t focus on your client during sessions (instead you are on your phone or looking in the mirror trying to love yourself)

  • Don’t keep your word

Coaching Tip:

Think about times gone past when you have promised to do something for a client like write them a ‘holiday program’ and never got around to it because you were just too busy in the end. Oftentimes we say something with sincere intentions. We fail however in the implementation of that intention. Intent is one thing but action is the other important element in true fulfilment of a promise.

With that in mind, write down occasions where you felt this has happened and a client has perhaps pulled you up about it. Then be the conscious observer where you become aware of the promise you are about to make with someone or your client. Ask yourself: ‘Can I do and back up what I am saying here’? what I can I realistically afford to do to fulfil this promise I am going to make.

If you are to be a trusted authority then it all starts with deep introspection, a habit of awareness and therefore living up to your word and actions.

Keep reaching

Coach Tarek



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