Less Feedback Is More

Occam’s razor cuts a closer shave.
 
It’s a philosophical principle that will help you grow your business, train your clients and avoid stress. Occam’s razor says: “simpler solutions are more likely to be correct than complex ones.”
 
In coaching, that means “Your clients can’t follow two commands.”
 
In business, that means “you can’t act on every piece of client feedback you get.”
 
In leadership, that means “tell them exactly what you want them to do.”
 
Here’s how to put Occam’s razor into practice in your gym business, help your clients progress faster, guide your team to success, and stay focused yourself.
 
Coaching:

    • Correct one thing at a time. Every client should receive 1:1 coaching from you every day. Whether in a big group, small group or personal training session, your job is to provide individual coaching to every client. But it’s tempting for novice coaches to coach TOO much. Vomiting information on a client will just paralyze them. Tell them one thing to fix; promise to teach them the next step tomorrow; and let them achieve mastery one step at a time. Avoid the temptation to show off your knowledge.

 

    • Tell them what you’re going to tell them. Then tell them. Then tell them what you told them. Instead of sharing several points at once, spend your entire session on one key point. Give an overview at the whiteboard. Then get really in depth with each client individually. Finally, recap the lesson for the group.

 
Staff Development:

    • Keep your staff evaluations short. More categories for evaluation isn’t better, because the most important points of measurement get buried. It’s critical that coaches show up early; look great; smile at everyone; keep everyone engaged; and end on time. You might add 2-3 more criteria to the list. But a 20-section coaching evaluation is almost worse than no evaluation at all, because it’s not a reflection of their true skill.

 

    • Evaluate your staff by each role separately. If you haven’t broken out each responsibility in your business into a separate role, you risk throwing an amazing coach out with the bathwater. If a knowledgeable, caring coach forgets to take out the garbage at night, it might be wise to hire a cleaner or change the coach’s schedule instead of firing them.
    • Give your staff a clear path forward. We use the career roadmap tool in the Incubator.

 
Business:

    • Have a clear vision and repeat it at every opportunity. Give your staff and clients one central point of focus: “Everything we do, we do because of THIS.”

 

    • Don’t survey your clients. The important feedback will get buried, and you’ll spend too much time trying to please the wrong people. Read more about Killing The Canaries here.

 

    • Explain everything as simply as you can. Many gym owners use pictures or videos in their staff playbooks now.
    • Follow proven paths wherever you can. Mentorship has allowed me to reach farther, in far less time, because I don’t have to figure anything out for myself, or repeat expensive, time-consuming mistakes that my mentors have already made.

 
 
Reading books about editing can make you a better leader and entrepreneur. As a coach, leader and owner, your mind must be trained to seek the simplest, straightest path. Start with these, but always ask: “How can I make this more automatic?”

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