Our personalities shape our relationship with the world; how we react under stress; how we unwind and recharge; even the jobs we hold. Understanding that we all see a particular situation from a different point of view can help diffuse disagreements and resolve conflict.
As a health coach, understanding your clients’ personality will allow you to see the world from their perspective, and will enable you to help them achieve their health goals. According to the Briggs/Meyers Personality Type theory, every personality can be classified into sixteen different Personality Types and these sixteen Personality Types can be categorized into 4 sub groups. We have previously explored how to draw out the best from the Sentinels, the Explorers and the Analysts.
In our final post of the Personality Typing series, we will discuss how to bring out the very best from your Diplomat clients, who are characteristically warm, caring, and generous. Diplomats consist of the Advocates, Mediators, Protagonists and Campaigners.
Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging.
Advocates are extremely rare, making up less than one percent of the population, and can be characterized by their inborn sense of idealism and morality.
Advocates love to solve other people’s problems, making them excellent counselors and advisors. When an Advocate believes in something, they will put all their energy into achieving their goal, and they won’t do this silently.
If an Advocate truly believes in what they are doing, they will want to share this with the world, and they possess the personality traits that enable them to do it.
Advocates are highly insightful and can see through dishonesty, manipulation, and sales tactics.
Advocates are very private and reserved, and don’t generally like to share their personal side. Remember not to push too much if you feel that they are not opening up to you, as you may lose their trust.
Advocates have tremendous willpower, but they are also perfectionists, and may give up on their health goals if they hold the perception that they aren’t achieving them. A great coaching tip here is to regularly record health benchmarks such as body measurements and body fat percentage. Seeing the fruits of their labor will give your Advocate clients the motivation they need to continue on their health journey.
Keep in mind that Advocates are very sensitive and do not handle criticism well. As Advocates don’t like to feel bogged down with routine tasks, they would benefit from having a weekly plan set out for them, which may include when to shop, when to prepare their food and when to do exercise. This will help your Advocate client to see that they have plenty of time to fit in both the routine day-to-day aspects of their life, alongside the fun stuff.
Introverted, iNutitive, Feeling, Perceiving.
Mediators are true idealists and make up 4% of the population.
Mediators are idealistic and highly optimistic. They always see the good in people and can be incredibly resilient in the face of hardship. Conversely, Mediators can become disappointed when bad things happen (as they sometimes do), leaving them feeling overwhelmed and distressed.
Mediators quite often see things from unconventional perspectives and many poets and authors fall into this Personality Type. They are open-minded and flexible and will likely be open to primal lifestyle concepts. However, Mediators don’t like feeling constrained by rules, so it’s important to not make your Mediator clients feel trapped. The key is to tap into their passion and energy. If you can do this, then they will work very hard to achieve their health goals.
Mediators can often neglect day-to-day matters, so it’s important to help them plan their time effectively to make sure they fit in things like grocery shopping and meal preparation.
Mediators are big-picture people and can struggle with facts and data, so try not to overwhelm them with information if you sense that they are starting to lose focus. Mediators often take criticism very personally, so tread lightly when discussing their previous lifestyle habits.
Mediators are extremely shy and private. It can be very hard for them to let go and share personal information about themselves, so make sure you allow them enough time to feel comfortable with you and your health coaching before delving too deeply into their personal lives.
Extraverted, iNututive, Feeling, Judging.
Protagonists are natural born leaders. They embody passion and charisma and make up 2% of the population.
Protagonists are the ultimate team players. They listen and respect other peoples’ opinions, even if they contradict their own, and they admit that they don’t have all the answers.
Your Protagonist clients will work hard to achieve their health goals, as they are reliable, and truly dislike letting someone down, especially themselves.
Protagonists have wavering self-esteem and can lose confidence if they feel that they are being unsuccessful at achieving their goals. Give your Protagonist clients lots of reassurance and always let them know when they are doing well.
Protagonists also struggle with making decisions, so they may appreciate a weekly meal plan or a fitness program.
Protagonists are highly charismatic and charming, and if they are happy with their health progress, they will definitely spread the word.
Extraverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceiving.
Campaigners are often the life of the party and make up 7% of the population.
Campaigners are imaginative and open-minded and enjoy stepping out of their comfort zones. They love to explore new experiences and will be very open to implement healthier lifestyle practices.
Be prepared for lots of questions when coaching your Campaigner clients, as they are highly observant and never like to miss a thing.
Campaigners are very open and easy to get along with, so you won’t have any problems getting them to discuss their personal lives during your coaching sessions. They are big picture people that are great at coming up with new ideas. However, Campaigners often struggle to follow through with their vision. They also find everyday tasks like grocery shopping and meal preparation tedious and boring. Tap in their social side, and show them that grocery shopping at a farmers market can be a great opportunity to catch up with friends, or you could suggest that they host a dinner party where they can prepare a primal-style meal for their friends and family.
Campaigners can become stressed and over emotional, especially when they over commit themselves to helping others. To prevent unnecessary stress in their lives, you could coach your Campaigner client to say no to others more often and instead block out some relaxation time into their schedule.
Campaigners despise being micromanaged and would much prefer to be provided with healthy meal and exercise options that they can choose to implement into their lives, rather working with structured meal plans and fitness programs.
What works with one client may not work for another. Being aware of the different Personality Types that you may come across through your health coaching will give you more of an understanding as to what drives them, how to motivate them, and when to step back if you feel your client withdrawing. Understanding your clients’ personalities is essential to your health coaching business.
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