No one likes hearing negative feedback about themselves. Humans are programmed to seek encouragement and positive reinforcement. However, seeking and embracing constructive feedback is important for growing as an individual and professional.
As a new fitness instructor/trainer, the best thing you can do for yourself is to find a mentor to get feedback. But did you know veteran fitness professionals will also benefit from getting feedback? Veteran instructors/trainers can sometimes get into a rut of teaching and training in the same method, and don’t consider asking others if there are any areas for improvement.
It’s understandable that once you get familiar with teaching a certain way, breaking from habit can be difficult. However, it’s important as a fitness professional to continue to attend conferences, take others’ classes, and seek feedback from other professionals to continue incorporating the most up-to-date research and teaching methodologies in class or as you train clients.
Who Should I Ask for Feedback?
How about an instructor whose classes you enjoy or one that inspired you to get started in fitness? It is always beneficial to receive feedback from a respected and experienced professional who is able to observe you in person.
While you may think you inconvenience them, it’s quite the contrary! Most people you ask for advice will be 1) flattered you view them as a source of knowledge, and 2) impressed at your desire to grow and learn as a fitness professional. Most instructors are happy to mentor those who seek help and may even use it as an opportunity to ask you for feedback!
How Should I Receive Feedback?
Do not shy away from the “hard-to-hear” feedback. In order to learn and improve, it’s very important to be open minded and embrace feedback — positive and negative! Only asking people who you know will give you high praises (friends and family) won’t help you get far. Just as you wouldn’t surround yourself with “yes men” in your day-to-day life, it’s even more important not to do it in your professional life. It’ll result in the creation of an echo chamber consisting of only what you want to hear and not what you need to hear.
When taking new trainings, if you learn a different way of pre-cueing or leading a class that’s not the same as what you’ve been doing, keep an open mind. There’s a reason why that training exists and there’s always an opportunity to learn something new. Never let your experience or ego get in the way of your own growth and improvement.
Having the mentality of embracing feedback, even as a fitness veteran, allows for continued improvement as the importance of the fitness industry continues to grow.
Fen Tung is the co-founder and product director of BollyX. For more information visit bollyx.com.