Think of the best trainers that you’ve ever met or worked with. Chances are, it was mainly their personality, not their knowledge or letters behind their name, that impacted you the most. It was their presence, their energy, that really made them stand out.
In the world of training, knowledge and experience mean little if your personality is wrong for the job.
So, that begs to ask the million-dollar question: What personality traits are needed to be successful as a trainer?
Not what the job entails, but rather which personality traits will drive success within the fitness training world?
Score 6 Out of 8 on this Personal Trainer Personality Profile
If you’re thinking about becoming a trainer, or looking to hire trainers to represent your brand, I’m a firm believer in the “hire for personality, train for skill” philosophy. This is because, I can teach you the technical know-how to be a great trainer, but I can’t change someone’s natural personality traits and talents.
If someone has the right personality profile (with zero experience), I can make them a great trainer. However, if someone doesn’t have the right personality profile, they’re going to have a hard time being successful training people, no matter how much technical education they’ve got. Therefore, it’s key to be able to identify the specific personality traits that fit with being a personal trainer because our personality is what our customers will connect with.
The following is a list of 8 adjectives possessed by successful personal trainers, none having anything to do with experience. If you have at least 6 of these 8 personalities traits, you have the right stuff.
1 – Confident
Confidence (not cockiness) is not only an attractive quality, it gives others more confidence in buying in to what you’re telling them.
2 – Personable
Being personable is needed to be able to read people and adjust how you interact with them in a way they can relate to. Therefore, making them comfortable with you. And, people don’t listen to, much less keep coming back to, people or places they don’t feel comfortable with.
3 – Great Communicator
If you can’t communicate well, you can’t coach well. Your training knowledge is no good if you’re unable to communicate it in a clear and concise manner your clients can easily understand.
4 – Great Connector
Clients don’t just want information, they want connection.
These two awesome quotes from Coach Jeremy Boone highlight the difference between communication and connection:
“Communication is what I want from you. Connection is what I want for you.”
“Communication is what I can get. Connection is what I can give.”
Trust and understanding are the name of the game!
I highly recommend you watch this TED talk from Coach Boone, and also check out his Winning Leader Online Academy.
5 – Patient
Patience is a crucial personality trait to have as a trainer, not just because getting impatient with your clients will drive them away, but also because your own professional growth and success will come from delayed gratification. If you’re impatient, you’re not going to last long in this industry.
6 – Passionate
Just about everyone that enters the professional fitness training business shares a passion for helping people. However, that passion alone doesn’t set you up for being a highly skilled trainer.
The ones who do have the right stuff are those who are often happier engaging in continuing education ventures on a Friday or Saturday night than they are with going out to party. Some may want to call this being a training “nerd,” but it’s just being highly interested, invested and focused on one’s craft.
When you can’t help but get excited when working with your clients because you love talking shop, this love for what you do is obvious to your clients. And, it gives your clients supreme confidence that they’re in good hands because they know you’re driven to keep learning how to give them the best information.
7 – Energetic
We’re not talking about that fake energy, or what comedian Sebastian Maniscalco calls “fake positivity.”
Being high-energy is a necessary personality trait for the group training setting, but it’s too much in the private and semi-private setting.
That said, being low energy is also a turn-off in the personal and semi-private training setting because it drains everyone else’s energy.
Your clients go as you go. So, you need to be an energy-adder because clients feed off of your energy. Being energetic is inspiring to others, and that makes you a force-multiplier.
8 – Outgoing
Training is a social endeavor, hence the personal in personal training. So, being able to talk to strangers and enjoying doing things with people is key to growing your business.
Better Reactions = Better Revenue
To our clients, the product isn’t just the information us trainers provide them. It’s the reaction our clients have to the info and training experience they have with us.
Every session and interaction must establish a positive emotional reaction. People run towards what makes them happy, and they run away from things that don’t.
If the trainer’s plan is mediocre, but that trainer is a superstar, clients are in! This is because it’s all about presentation and emotion – the perceived value.
Now, you still need to have a great training plan. That’s where I come in. In that, if someone has what they have to have personality-wise, I can teach them what they need to do on the programming and exercise prescription side of things to be a great trainer.
The ultimate formula is to be a superstar that also has a plan better than the rest. And, if you need help doing that, I’ve got two great resources that will shore up any shortcomings you have.
First, I’ve just created an open-access 3-part video course on How to Be A Great Trainer. It separates the facts from the fiction about what being a great trainer really means, and provides actionable steps to being more valuable to your clients.
Second, I’ve poured all my knowledge about creating engaging and effective training programs in my digital course, Practical Program Design Mastery. It features 10 learning modules that teach coaches and trainers how to program for everyday clients from beginners to advanced and it even includes over a year of done-for-you programming.