The Big and Small of It: How to break away from the trainer pack

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In what ways can you rise above the average trainer in the coming year? Here are two: the macro and the micro.

First, the macro.

Learn your employer’s big-picture mission and 12-month focus. Knowing where the company is headed can help you exceed expectations. Is the organization about to purchase a new line of equipment? Partner with a different hospital? Launch a social media campaign? Pay attention to the company’s plans and priorities. And if they are not readily available, ask management directly. Once you have that understanding, take action. Are you already knowledgeable about the organization’s new direction? Share your experience with your managers in a brief one-on-one interaction, and offer to help. Listen to their suggestions and follow through. Make yourself part of the change. If you are unfamiliar with the new strategy, can you grow into it? (You can.) To become an asset in the big-picture plan, seek out learning experiences. They don’t have to be fancy or expensive. Webinars, books, podcasts, weekend workshops and simply listening to the right people (those in charge of implementing the change) can all help you grow. Exposure to new ideas can make you a better trainer and a more vital employee.

Then there’s the micro.

Stand in your clients’ shoes and take a look at what their personal training experience lacks. Look beyond what is outside of your authority (i.e. pricing and packages) and hone in on the details of the service. What one element could you focus on to enhance the effectiveness of the sessions? Any trainer can walk clients through some resistance training—how could youimprove their experiences? Are you haphazard with scheduling? Are you tardy? Do you let conversations wander away from their fitness and goals? Are resistance-training programs designed to their specific needs? Pick one and improve it. The change you make will send the message that you are committed to your clients’ success and serious about your career.

In short, it takes a two-pronged approach. While the macro will increase your value as an employee, the micro will improve your retention of existing clients and attract new ones looking for more than the average trainer.

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