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Emotional Intelligence and success as a trainer

Greg Slade, Head of Health and Fitness at The Training Room

Emotional Intelligence and success as a trainer

Emotional intelligence is the buzzword in management and leadership training at the moment and it’s believed that displaying high levels of Emotional Intelligence (EI) can provide an advantage when it comes to working in today’s highly competitive market. But what is Emotional intelligence?

EI is the ability to recognise and understand your own emotions and skills at managing and dealing with other people and their emotional position. Simply put EI is about being able to problem solve with or without the use of emotion.

You can enjoy better professional relationships  

As an effective PT it’s crucial to understand how and why people behave in certain ways. Developing and nurturing a positive relationship with your client is a large part of emotional intelligence. Trainers with a high level of EI will be able to interact and communicate with clients more effectively, which will enhance the relationship.  

Personal effectiveness  

It is believed that people with high levels of EI can manage their time more effectively. EI is increasingly regarded as a major factor in personal success and is regarded by some as being more important than IQ. Being able to manage yourself and others successfully is often a crucial factor in success.  

Being more self-aware

Developing your own levels of EI allows you to be more self-aware of you and your emotions. It can equip you with the skills you need to manipulate your emotions and personality more effectively. This also includes the negative emotions such as anger or sadness.  

Improved leadership   

Emotional intelligence will help you to develop empathy and help to understand other people better. This is particularly important if you’re a PT in a management position. It gives you the ability to inspire, influence, motivate and persuade people within your team.

Displaying empathy

Sensing how other people feel and reading them accurately is a characteristic of someone with high levels of EI. This in turn will help you develop meaningful relationships.

When it comes to fitness training and coaching it’s all about the relationship you have with your client and how well you communicate with them along with how you inspire, motivate and encourage them.

There are different levels of empathy but emotional empathy; the kind that helps you to sense when a client might feel disappointed, frustrated, upset, un-motivated is extremely beneficial to a PT. You can use this skill to pick the right moment to talk about an issue and hopefully channel any negative emotional into a positive opportunity.

Another element of empathy is the ability to understand what your client needs at that very moment – no matter what’s going on. You’ll know if they need a hug, some tough love or some words of wisdom. Your motivation is set so that you’re there for the client.


Good PTs have great one to one attention. Maintaining someone’s attention can be challenging, especially in a busy gym environment.

Concentration is crucial when training a client and it’s important to be wholly present to the client during their session. We all have thoughts, concerns, issues and worries but it’s important, as a PT, to block these out whilst you’re training your client. This isn’t always easy but look to train your mind (as you would your body) to block out other thoughts and be completely present for your client.

The good news for PTs and coaches is that there are easy methods you can use to help you and indeed your clients become better at concentrating. You can start with some easy attention training. Simply instructing your client that it’s time to concentrate and focus works.

Breaking down the session into time / sections will also help. For example, telling them we are doing this for 2,3 or 5 minutes for example can help. You can also follow the same programme if you struggle with attention and concentration. The brain is a muscle and we need to train it to get stronger and improve.

As a PT you will not enjoy full success if you can’t command the attention of yourself or your clients. Helping your clients to focus will ultimately help you be a better coach and help them achieve their goals.  

Greg Slade, Head of Health and Fitness at The Training Room

Copyright © 2018 FE News

For more information about EI training for you, your PTs or other areas of upskilling please email Greg Slade at The Training Room

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