I believe, at this point in our lives, we all have realized that different people are motivated by different things.
One of my favourite books of 2015 was Better Than Before.
In Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin explores the idea that there are four tendencies which distinguish how people react to expectations. Since reading Better Than Before, I have a lot of fun trying to determine what tendency others are, and I also take any opportunity to share this knowledge with others.
Why am I telling you about this?
Because how you react to expectations will determine what coaching program will work best for you.
There are two key reasons why I wanted to offer more than just downloadable training plans, or one-on-one coaching. Part of that was just good business sense, but the main part was because different people are motivated by different things, and trying to make a one-size-fits-all coaching program would never work.
What Coaching Plan Will Work Best for You
I recommend you take the quiz to determine your tendency, and then read on to see what coaching program is likely to work best for you.
Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations
Questioners question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense–essentially, they make all expectations into inner expectations
Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves
Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike
According to my results, I am a questioner. At first, I wasn’t sure if I believed the results (ha – classic questioner), but the more I think about it, the more I agree.
I will constantly play devil’s advocate, even if I don’t agree with the stance I’m taking. I ask questions of others to determine their point of view and (I’m getting better at this) rarely like to do this just because this is how it’s done.
It’s extremely likely my friends have witnessed me, squint my eyes, raise my eyebrows, tilt my head, and say (maybe in a little bit of a snooty tone), “But…..why?! No. Seriously Why does it matter?” when I disagree with some arbitrary rule.
Also of note? Questioners really don’t like to be questioned.
This also means that when I decide to make a change, I’m pretty good at keeping those decisions. I resolved to be more disciplined in 2016, and while we’re only four weeks in, I have to say, I think I’m doing well because I believe in my decision.
With that, let’s dive into the best plan for you.
[Tweet “Wondering what training plan to pick? Use @gretchenrubin 4 tendencies to find out! “]
Downloadable training plan
(I realize these haven’t yet been released, I promise they’re coming very soon. Like sign up for my newsletter so you can be notified as soon as they’re available soon.)
These plans would work best for both upholders or questioners. While questioners may question the content in the plan, it’s unlikely questioners would take the step to purchase and download the plan without first buying into the knowledge of the coach and the contents presented in the plan.
Upholders will likely follow the training plan to the letter whereas questioners are likely to feel more comfortable making modifications though both of these may be detrimental to training. Upholders may train when a rest day is necessary, and questioners (ie. me) can very easily justify why a specified run should be easier, or skipped altogether. Whoops.
Customized training plan
Customized training plans would also work best for both upholders or questioners; however, I do think this would probably be better suited to questioners since it helps with the buy-in concept of the plan.
Questioners will have more buy-in into the customized plan as working with a coaching and sharing expectations and previous results would create the internal motivation required to follow the plan.
Upholders may like to be able to provide input as to the number of days they realistically feel they can run, but it isn’t necessary for upholders to be successful.
This is definitely the plan for obligers.
Obligers might prefer to go the route of a pre-made or customized plan, but without the external motivation of being in contact with a coach, it’s pretty likely obligers will fall off the rails and start skipping runs for other external obligations. Like kids, or cleaning, or anything they feel is necessary for others.
Questioners might pay for one-on-one coaching, but if questioners don’t believe, or buy-in to what the coach is selling, then it’s certainly not a good purchase to make.
Upholders would also follow a one-on-one coaching plan, and it may or may not be necessary, this would depend on how good the upholder is as self-policing in times of stress or being overscheduled. Taking an unscheduled rest day can be a good thing!
What about rebels?
You’ll notice I haven’t really touched on the rebel tendency. This is because rebels have to want to do it. Sometimes the mere mention of the word plan means that the rebel has already decided she won’t do it and that’s that.
A tip for people who work with rebels, the key is to tell them why it’s important. It may or may not work, but I do know that forcing a rebel to do something definitely won’t work.
What coaching plan do you think would work best for you?
What is your tendency? Were you surprised by it?
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