Episode 31: Mastering the Way You Motivate & Use Motivational Cues

Barry Ennis

Motivation: “the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.” From this definition, we can see that order to motivate our clients, we have to give them a reason for their action.

Barry Ennis

Fitness Professional

Motivation: “the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.” From this definition, we can see that order to motivate our clients, we have to give them a reason for their action. Good motivation comes down not necessarily on what to say, but how you say something and when you say it. No two instructors will motivate the same way, so this episode will help you find your own motivational style.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

Define the purpose of your motivation.

Find the most powerful timing to share your motivation.

Help your clients learn the importance of doing less, not more.

Here’s the Complete List of Tips:

1. Define the purpose of your motivation.

First, understand why your clients are choosing to work out in the first place. There are many reasons, but these are some:

To lose weight

To relieve stress

To escape their life

Endorphin rush, how it makes them feel

To get stronger

To work through a challenging moment in their life

Let’s avoid addressing negativity. Call upon these general drives in general motivation cues that address why they are there, but not explicitly:

Every moment leading up to this one has created who you are now.  What you do now creates that future version of you.

You want to give up to avoid difficulty, but if you do give up you will only face a different kind of difficulty.

If you choose to stay comfortable, then you choose to stay the same.

Don’t keep doing the same things over and over expecting a different outcome. You make the change.

The best way around this is to invite them to set an intention for why they are there at the beginning of the session. If they decide that their intention is to burn as many calories as they can do lose weight – then that is their choice.

You can also focus on developing your motivational techniques based on your own intention. To start, make sure it’s coming from your heart and something that you can keep referring back to in your class. Sometimes, this can be challenging to do depending on the nature of what you teach.

You can then use easy cues like:

Remember what you came here for

What do you value more – your comfort, or what you came here for?

2. Finding the most powerful timing to share your motivation.

There is a very simple technique that you can use to determine what is the most motivational thing to say in that moment. It is: be very aware of what your class participants are experiencing in each section of your class by watching their faces and body language. However, the best way to determine this timing is quite sneaky.

You can determine this by taking classes yourself. Pay careful attention to the experience you have from the moment you walk in the classroom to finish, Notice when your mind begins to drift away or make excuses. These are likely the same moments when your class participants need motivation as well.

Here’s your challenge from this episode. Go take a class in the modality you teach – even better if it’s from another instructor at the place that you teach, because the style of the workout will likely be the most similar. Bring a journal and be very mindful all through the class of what you feel and experience at every moment. You need to constantly be asking yourself questions like:

What does it feel like when you come into the room?

What does it feel like when you begin the warm up?

What does it feel like in the middle of the workout?

What does it feel like when you’re going all out?

What does it feel like when you get the opportunity to rest?

When do you respond to motivation from the instructor?

When do you respond better to silence or just listening to the music?

What does it feel like when the instructor challenges you again?

What does it feel like when you realize you’re very close to the end of the class?

Don’t just notice what you feel, but notice what specific dialogue you hear in your head. Where does your mind go when it is uncomfortable? Does it…

Focus on what’s wrong

Try to convince you that its okay to make it a bit easier or stop

Tell you that you can’t

Tell you that you’ll never be able to do it

Write all of these thoughts down in your journal. If you feel those things in those moments of class, your clients feel those things too. Identifying what they feel & and give them something relatable to encourage them, you not only motivate them, but you make them feel that you truly understand them. How powerful is that!

3. Help your clients understand the importance of doing less, not more

If you’re pushing outside your comfort zone, feeling vulnerable, and also putting pressure on yourself to do as much as the person next to you, that’s an insane amount of pressure. As an instructor, we can relieve that by reminding them that they don’t need to control everything/don’t need to compare themselves to the people next to them. Say things like:

Remember to control what you can control.

There’s a lot we cannot control, but you can always control your attitude and your response to what you’re experiencing right now

All you need to do is your best right now. Maybe that’s different from your best yesterday, or what your best will be 6 months from now, but all you can do is your best right now, and just know that that’s enough.

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