Introduction to change fitness coaching

Written by Dr Steve Barlow

I want to give you an introduction to change fitness coaching. Most coach training/PD programs aim to make someone a better coach. Sounds obvious, but why is it like this?

On the surface, the answer appears simple – to make coaches more effective, to broaden their knowledge and skills, and to help them achieve better outcomes for their clients and their practice. Right?

But there’s another reason – a deeper reason. Training people to become better coaches is the ‘standard model’ – the normal thing – and most people don’t think outside the normal sphere. But at its heart, change fitness coaching lies outside the standard model – it’s not the normal thing.

Professional development in change fitness is not primarily aimed at making anyone a better coach. Now before you stop reading in horror at what we just said, listen to this. Professional development in change fitness is primarily aimed at making your client a better client. Get the difference?

So, what makes someone a better client? Is it someone who pays you more? Is it someone who sings your praises and brings you more work? No, a better client is someone who has a high capacity to succeed at the change process. They are someone who has a high capacity to make the cognitive, emotional, and behavioural change that allows them to benefit significantly from the help you provide.

At the end of the day, you might be the best coach in the world, but you’re not the client. You’re not the one who must change, and if your client has a low capacity for successful change, then you’re not likely to be successful with them.

Change fitness coaching is primarily about how you help your clients develop a high capacity to succeed at the change process. Of course, to achieve this, you as a coach also need to learn and change. And that’s what this training is all about.

Don’t misunderstand what we’re saying here. You becoming a better and more effective coach is highly important – we value that. But how you become a better coach is the critical question. This training is not just about giving you new tools to add to your kitbag. And it’s not about teaching you new tricks. It’s about helping you understand the specific set of psychological resources your clients need to succeed at change. It’s about giving you the know-how and tools to help them succeed in the best way possible.

If you’re happy with the standard model and don’t see a reason to understand the psychological capacities your clients need to succeed at change, then this training is not for you. But if you want to understand the dynamics at play, and know how to leverage them to help your clients succeed, then you’re on the road to become a more successful coach. Read More >>