Be a Person of Integrity

Close loops you say you will close. Do things you say you will do. Be reliable, be honest, do the work to ensure you fulfill your promises.

Be a Person of Integrity

Do you follow through with what you say you’re going to do? Do you help your clients move toward their goals, like you promised? Do you adjust their programming when you say you will? For in-person training, do you show up on time, every time, to sessions? For online coaching, do you respond with feedback within your promised timeframe every session? Do you look and act professional?

Every contact point you have as a coach will either build or erode trust with your clients and this trust is based on your perceived integrity. It is hard to build trust but very easy to break it, so you must take your reputation seriously. You simply cannot tolerate lapses in your integrity if you want to maintain trust with your clients.

Integrity is all about consistency. It’s not enough to do something really well once. Clients want to know they can count on you to be there as part of their support system. If that trust is let down a few times—or even once—it’s hard for clients to believe there won’t be lapses in the future. Some clients will never be able to forget it.

No lapses in integrity for years on end is a big responsibility. Worse yet, as a business owner, no one is holding you accountable to this level of consistency. It’s easy to provide excellent service when you’re starting out. Everything is new and exciting. But how do you continue this level of service and passion 10 or 20 years into a career?

Just like with training or nutrition, you’ll need something more than simple motivation or willpower to maintain service. Being organized and having systems in place to remind you when tasks are due can greatly increase your ability to deliver your promises on time. Find a schedule and lifestyle that allows you to be successful, and stick to it. Learn to rely on a set of habits that are effective for you, and enjoy the process of exercising them.

Also, set clear expectations with your clients. An awful way to lose trust is to not deliver on something you didn’t know they expected of you. This can be avoided by clearly defining exactly what you offer, both in timeframe and scope.

Really, all of this applies to every relationship you have in life, not just coaching—but consistency in your professional interactions with others will make or break your coaching business.

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