1. Listen to your clients
It is impossible to be an effective coach without having good listening skills. Listening is the key to successful motivational interviewing. When you listen effectively you get the client involved in the goal setting process. Leading them to take ownership over their health goals and stay compliant with their treatment plan.
2. Do not use blanket statements
Once you start listening to every client you will realize that they are all unique. Each client is different, meaning every health plan needs to be personalized. For this reason, blanket statements are incredibly ignorant.
3. Be sensitive to weight-stigma
People effected by the disease of Obesity often deal with blatant discrimination. So be proactive and make sure all your scales, chairs, and equipment can serve all body types. Also be sure to use sensitive language, the same way you would when referring to other diseases.
4. Offer the full continuum of care
As I mentioned earlier there is no “one size fits all” treatment plan. Different people have different needs. For that reason it is important you educate clients on all their treatment options. Tell them about your weight-loss program and meal replacements but also let them know medicine, surgery, support groups, and therapy are all viable treatment options. If you do not have the resources to facilitates the full continuum of care, build a referral network. It is important to have a community of health resources you can offer you clients.
5. Respect your client’s pace
Never rush greatness. Respect the pace of your client’s progress. Feel free to encourage them but only through positive reinforcement. Never make someone feel bad about their results. The best thing you can do is celebrate all progress, no matter what the pace. And on the off weeks when they don’t lose or better yet end up gaining, just listen and readjust their goals/ mindset.
6. Lead by example
It is tough to give advice that you do not follow. So if you are going to tell your clients to cut out carbs, than you should make an effort to do the same. Only advice them to walk ten thousand steps per day if you are doing the same. It is a lot easier to inspire other people when you are leading by example.
7. Celebrate baby steps
All progress is good progress. The only way to ensure big wins is by celebrating small ones. So practice encouraging your clients by celebrating all wins like big wins. Doing so will cultivate a positive and encouraging environment.
8. Never lie or manipulate
The weight-loss industry is full of liars and schemers. Make your self unique and always operate with integrity. It will set you up as being different from your competition. Tell your clients the truth about what you have to offer and the process behind it.