“Don’t nobody know nothing? What up with this?” Nino Brown, New Jack City
I recently read a question on a personal trainers board that despite a 6k membership has gone unanswered.
“What are the common characteristics of successful fitness professionals?”
I contacted the original poster asking them if I could use the question for this weeks blog. My question was not verbally acknowledged, but I did get one of these…
Despite a love of comics, I prefer words over pics.
There are a ton of potential answers to the question. How is success being defined? I ask because some people will read past “characteristic” and focus on “successful.”
Characteristic. A feature or quality belonging typically to a person, place, or thing and serving to identify it.
Can success be tied to an annual income? Is it having a good work/life balance? Is it having a sustained business model? Is it based on the results consistently obtained in clients? Is it daily happiness in ones work? Is it the number of social media followers one has? Is it not looking like a DYEL? Is it simply remaining employed for greater than the average drop-off points?
People have used all of these to validate success, and I’m certain there are plenty of other measuring sticks. I’ve met trainers that meet nearly all the above, yet are actually poor trainers. I also know some exceptional trainers that only meet a few of the above criterion.
Below are some of the common characteristics of the best trainers I know based purely on my opinion.
They are largely humble about their accomplishments. They don’t speak down to those with less prestigious educational pedigrees, less enviable physiques, smaller social circles or lower income.
They enjoy teaching,but will not suffer fools gladly.
They are scholar-warriors. They continually advance their knowledge and abilities both in depth and breadth. They consistently study and can separate sources of information. They question what they read.
They have no problems saying “I don’t know” (or admit having limited knowledge on a subject) but often know someone that does. They can admit when they were wrong on a subject.
They are comfortable holding conflicting thoughts in their head. They are open to hearing/reading material that opposes their line of thinking, not just the material that supports their way of seeing things.
“To give a person an opinion one must first judge well whether that person is of the disposition to receive it or not” The Hagakure.
They know their opinion will not be shared by all, no matter how well articulated or the strength of supporting evidence. We live in a world with a Flat Earth society and trainers that have only read one book.
They let principles guide their practice, not fads.
They realize it’s not the tool, but what you do with the tool that counts.
They can explain complex things simply. They do not talk like they swallowed a Latin dictionary, unless they need to.
They don’t get their clients hurt.
They don’t bring anecdotes to a science fight. If they DO bring anecdotes, they state such and do not attempt to pass it off as facts.