Coaching – the pros and cons. Interpersonal attitudes. How to structure relationships with a personal trainer
Photo: Alex Mostaslavsky
Clothes and shoes in the photos are provided by sportswear store Monterosa sport
In any society, there are always people who need someone to help them start a healthy lifestyle, train regularly or follow a diet. We need a kind of “soul mate” – a coach, who is fashionably called a “guru”. A friendly and experienced guy (or girl) who will help you to build confidence, be stimulated, listen, give advice etc.
Those who know the pangs of a diet, also know how valuable it is for the success of this business, to be surrounded by the support of kind, caring, positive people. Without these people, whether professionals or not, the success of the approach is very difficult to obtain.
Of course, among them, there are sometimes unscrupulous, unprofessional and mercantile people who have discredited their profession. But in the professional sense, a coach is always a person with humanistic qualities, who helps someone to make decisions (sometimes cardinal), helps you to save time and to reveal your new talents.
How do you structure relations with a coach? The theory of interpersonal attitudes by the American psychologist Elias Porter will help to solve this problem, to teach you to react correctly to the advice and not to enter into a psychological dependency.
According to Elias Porter, an American psychologist, there are six types of interpersonal attitudes.
The first type is an “assessment-judgment” attitude. These relationships are accompanied by phrases such as: “What you tell me is true, but yet …”, “You’re wrong …”, “Be careful next time …”, “You better get …”. This type of relationship makes us feel that we have power over someone who gives advice. If your coach gives advice with care and wisdom, it will result in a positive effect (legitimacy, competence, clear and shared intent). If such a relationship begins to interfere – change your coach, otherwise, they will just annoy you (who would want to be constantly judged by another person?).
The second type – an attitude of interpretation (based on hermeneutics). These relationships are accompanied by phrases such as: “It seems to me that …”, “It is likely that …”, “This is how I see things …”. If your coach is experienced and their interpretation is accurate, then it’s ideal and you have a sense of being understood. If experience is not enough, the interpretation is wrong. It causes astonishment, irritation, blockage, and a sense of incomprehensibility. And the desire to change coach.
The third type – an attitude of support. These relationships are accompanied by phrases such as: “You know, all people have to live this same situation at least once …” “I understand you …” “Do not worry …”. Such relationships help us to feel “a strong shoulder” in a difficult moment, to return to the desire to fight. However, be careful: excessive support can lead to psychological dependency, or even the inability to take responsibility.
The fourth type – an attitude of inquiry. These relationships are accompanied by questions: “Why?”, “How?”, “With whom?”. This attitude requires you to constantly answer questions. On the one hand, they can be perceived as catching a coach’s attention, his attempt to understand your problem. However, be careful! Do not let them cross the red line as too many questions can cause a feeling of pressure.
The fifth type – an attitude of understanding. These relationships are accompanied by phrases such as: “If I understand you correctly ..”, “You are right …”. The “understanding” coach instils self-confidence and contributes to a greater sense of responsibility. But there is a side effect – the possibility of being manipulated mentally.
And finally, the sixth type – an attitude of suggestion – advice – order. These relationships are accompanied by phrases such as: “That’s what to do …” “I suggest …”, “I advise you to …”, “In my opinion”. An effective way to reach a goal, if the advice is given by a professional coach. But if you do not trust them, do not be manipulated and do not risk falling into psychological dependence.
While walking in a beautiful autumn forest, I thought: the lack of relationships can also be a relationship. Everything always depends on us. With or without a coach. We decide ourselves how and with whom to communicate. And what is the most important – why?