Joslyn Thompson Rule on Developing the Mindset of a Leader

Club Automation

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June 25, 2020

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June 25, 2020

Joslyn Thompson Rule joined us to share how club leaders can develop powerful mindset tools. She discusses showing up and how to it connects to your relationship with yourself and your staff.

Short on time? Here are the takeaways:

  1. There’s a matrix of mindset tools that allow you to learn from every communication scenario. It looks at your thinking and feeling patterns before, during, and after a communication event.
  2. Teaching communication skills to your team is such a gift, because it empowers people to then ask the questions, be direct, feel heard.
  3. When you’re recruiting or speaking to staff who are just starting out, those who are embarking on their career, who haven't even kind of put their foot in the door of wherever, is speak as if you're speaking to the old you.
  4. It's so important to be able to provide access for those just starting out and for those who still see a massive gap between where they are and where you are now.
  5. Constantly evaluate your communication so you can improve. It’s continued work, but you can get in the routine by asking yourself the following questions: What went well? What you would do differently? How does it give you confidence?

For the full webinar, read below or play the recording above.

Video Transcription

Joslyn Thompson Rule: Thank you so much, Maria. Hello, everybody. Thank you for taking time out of your day to come and sit and have a little listen about developing the mindset of a leader, and thank you Maria for putting that question in at the beginning. A couple of them, a few of them stuck out for me in terms of what does showing up mean. I loved coming in with purpose, being intentional, and another one was a willingness to grow. And I really, really like all of those. They're excellent, in fact.

For me, showing up is really embedded in the relationship that you have with yourself, and really, really nurturing that relationship all the time. It's not an endpoint that you get to. It's this continual process that you work towards, and there are these kind of moments along the way where you're like, "Yes, this feels good. Okay, great. On we go."

So, over the next 45 minutes, we're going to go through:

  1. Advice that I have for my younger self
  2. Showing up and how you do that
  3. Mindset tools in which to be able to show up for yourself
  4. Communication, effective communication. (It's so, so important.)
  5. How we as leaders can do better

I'm going to start off with a little advice for my younger self, and I'm often asked the question, "What would you tell your younger self?" And it's only in the last six to 12 months I've realized, actually, that she's always told me. And for that, I'm eternally grateful. So, I'm going to rewind back to 1985. My mother, my father, and myself, we were living in Dublin at the time. I was born in Dublin. And we were moving to London. And the night before we were moving over to London, my dad was delivering various big household items that we weren't going to take with us to various neighbors.

It was 11:00 at night and he was going to drop a washing machine off to someone, and my mom told me to go to bed, and I said, "No, I want to go with daddy." So, after much whingeing, she gave in. So, off we went, delivered the washing machine, came back, and because we had all of our things that we were going to take with us in this big truck, my dad thought it would be good to reverse the truck back into our driveway, so that we could drive out in the morning. So, my brother was on the doorstep, he was directing him in. I was stood on the garden wall.

Part of the lorry got stuck to the gate, which was attached to the wall, and the wall which I was standing on started to wobble. And my brother said, "Joslyn, get off the wall. It's wobbling." And I said, "Don't be ridiculous. Walls don't wobble." So, I continued just standing on it until I actually felt it myself, and when I felt it wobble, I jumped off and landed with my left foot in front of me, and about a second after that, the wall came down on my foot and crushed my foot. So, back in 1985, I guess medical advances weren't what they are now, so I ended up being in hospital for two months. I think I had something like nine operations, and skin grafts, and all that kind of stuff. And one morning after an operation, I woke up with this big cage over my foot and a blanket over it so I couldn't see what... It was always wrapped up in a bandage, anyway.

But I couldn't see it, and then the surgeon wanted to see me in his office, so in I went. I sat on his knee and he said, "Joslyn, we had to take away your big toe." And I kind of sat with that, because I'm seven at the time, I sat with that and I was like, "Oh." And I said, "Well, where is it?" And he said, "Well, we had to get rid of it because it was going a little gangrene." And of course, me at seven, I was like, "What do you mean? You just took my toe and you threw it away and you didn't even tell me?" But the next thing he said was, "And you're not going to be able to dance again." And at the time, I had been Irish dancing for three or four years, I think, and was pretty good at it. I'd won some trophies and so on and so forth.

I remember he said that to me and I thought to myself, "Well, I know that he's saying that to me and I know that they've taken my toe, but I really love dancing, so I'm just going to see. Let's just see if I can dance again." And so, I had to learn how to walk again and all of those things, and I did dance again, because I believed that I could. And I often look back and I think, "What was it?" I was seven years old. There was a man telling me, "You're not going to be able to do this." A man who was very good at what he did telling me I wouldn't be able to do this. And I said, "No, I'm going to see for myself." And I think it's because I was just at that cusp of becoming eight, nine, 10, where your imagination sort of slides a little bit and you start to believe what you hear a lot more. That curiosity goes. That imagination goes.

I think I was just on that right side of curiosity and imagination to go, "Well, I'm just going to find out for myself." And so, I did. And that has stayed with me throughout my life, really. So, if I'm confronted with something where I think, "Oh." Someone tells me I can't do something, in my head I'm just like, "Well, let's just see." So, as I got older, more people tell you “no,” I find, and I always thought when I was younger to do well, you have to work hard and there's always going to be an element of struggle, so sort of work hard and struggle were the two things I really, really knew. And I knew if I came up against something I would say, "Well, let's just see."

But I always was sort of longing for other people to confirm the self-belief that I had. So, I remember when I wanted to go to the university that I went to, and I spoke to a family friend, and I said, "Oh. Well, I'm going to try and get into Trinity." Which is a college in Ireland. And her first words were, "Oh, that'll be really difficult to get into. Are you sure?" And my heart kind of sank a little bit and then I was like, "Well," again in my head, "Let's just see." And so, I continued to use that all the time, although as I say, it does get a little bit harder as you get older. But that relationship with myself I value immensely. And it's something that you have to work on every day, as I mentioned earlier on.

Showing Up: What it Is and How to Do It  

Going from the advice I've taken from my younger self, I want to move forward now to showing up and what's that's been like, and how I bring that little girl's advice with me. About seven or eight years ago, about eight years ago, I started working with a sports psychologist. I was competing at the time, I was training at the time, and I was very, very aware that I was thinking about what other people thought of my training, what other people thought of my competing, and I was... Everything was external. All of that focus was outside.

I know that if I don't have that self-belief, it doesn't matter moving forward. I had that when I was younger. It got more difficult as I got older. So, I decided I wanted to work with a sports psychologist and I found this wonderful woman, Katie Page, and Katie's amazing because she, when she was about 19, I want to say, she was a very good rower. She was a very good horse rider, as well. And she was due to row for Great Britain, I believe. And then she got sick and what seemed like a bad flu actually turned into her becoming quadriplegic, so she didn't have the use of her arms and her legs. So, I think she was an only child. Her parents then worked very, very hard to make sure that they could give her all of the financial support that was necessary for her care.

On the first day that she came out of hospital, her mother drove her to a daycare center where she would spend her Monday to Friday and go home in the evenings. And once she was there, she called her mum at lunch time and said, "Mum, you have to get me out of here. I can't be here. You have to get me out of here. I'm not going to get better here." And she then took herself on a journey of mindset. She took herself to America. She studied under some professors there. She did all of the reading that she could do. And for somebody who was told that they would never be able to walk again, they would never have the use of their arms and their legs again, they would never be able to have children again, Katie, she now has the full use of her arms and her legs. She is still in pain to a degree. She will say that.

She's now had her second child. And all of this is because she decided, "I'm not going to accept this. I'm just going to see." Much like myself. So, as you can imagine, I was like, "This woman's amazing! She can help me." So, I started working with Katie, and one of the things that she said to me is, "You already have all the answers." Which I found really irritating when she told me that and she said, "You just need to show up." So, if you saw this slide and you were like, eye roll, don't worry, I was too. And you can see it that way until you do discover that there are tools that you can use, and that you're not left looking for that external validation.

If you have your pen and papers at the ready, I believe Maria told you to get them ready. We're going to talk through one of the tools that Katie taught me. It's something that I teach to other trainers, other coaches, and it's just an incredibly useful tool in determining what it should look like for you when you show up.

If you have your pen and paper ready, on this next slide I just want you to create on your pen and paper a grid, as you can see, with thinking, feeling, and acting across the top, and then before, during, and after down that left hand column. So, I'll just give you a minute just to whip that up.

Mindset Tools

Once you have that, I want you to think back to... It could be an interview, a training session, a competition, a conversation, where it just tanked. It went so badly you perhaps wanted the ground to open up and swallow you up. It was just horrendous. So, I want you to think of that time. Don't worry, I'm not going to keep you there for too long. But I want you to write down what you were thinking before that event, or conversation, or interview, or whatever you have chosen. So, what were you thinking beforehand? Then what were you thinking during? And then what were you thinking after? Then next, what were you feeling before? What were you feeling during? And what you were feeling after. And then finally, how were you acting beforehand? How were you acting during? And how were you acting after?

Once you have that grid filled out in front of you, I want you just to sum it up in a few words, a sentence, a phrase. It could be an angry picture. Whatever it is. But just a few words just to sum up how that feels to you now. When you look at it, what does it bring up for you? And it would be great if you would put some of those words in the chat. I would love to see what your grids brought up for you. And then we'll move on from this dark place.

Learning experience. Great. Thank you, Ron. Not adequately prepared, embarrassed. Great. Thank you, Charlie. Poor mindset, poor results. Thank you, Kimberly. An opportunity for improvement was revealed. Love that, Jan. And disappointed. Heather, great. Felt sad and worthless. Thank you, Rebecca. Deflated. Yep. Nervous. Julie, you poor thing. It's going to be okay. It's not as big as you think it will be. It will be better. You will do better. I love that, Julie. I love, love, love that. We're going to talk a little bit about reframing a bit later. Regretful. Released. Interesting, Renee. Felt terrible, feeling proud now for overcoming. Amazing. Well done, Brittany. I anticipated it wouldn't go well and it didn't. Interesting, Miranda.

I wish I could have that moment back. Felt like I had no control. Frustration. Yeah, stressful. Yeah. All of the unsure of myself, yeah. All of these things are just not good feelings, right? And you know, what I feel like comes out of these sometimes is there was a lack of preparation, or a lack of... Usually the preparation is a big thing, or a lack of self-belief, or any of those pieces, so let's get positive now. So, I want you to create the same grid again, so you've got your thinking, your feeling, and your acting across. These are great. Still coming in. Anxious, nervous. How did I do? What did they think? That was totally me, Jessie, when I was training and competing. What did they think of me? This external focus. Stress and a little bitter. Nicky, thank you.

Okay, so your positive graph now, so we're going to go again, thinking, feeling, and acting across the top, and down the left-hand column, we've got before, during, and after. And now you're going to think of a time where you absolutely smashed it. Whether it was an interview, a competition, a conversation, a meeting, whatever it was, something where at the end of the day you were like, "I am awesome." Or at the end of that moment or experience you felt that. So, let's go again. In fact, you can tear up that other bit of paper if you want to and just toss it aside, because you don't need that anymore.

Let's go again. What were you thinking beforehand? Nice, [inaudible 00:18:04], I like that. What were you thinking during? And what were you thinking after? Then how were you feeling beforehand? How were you feeling during? And how were you feeling after? And then finally, how were you acting beforehand? How were you acting during? And how were you acting after? And again, once you have all of the words written out in your grid, I want you to sum it up in a few words, a sentence, what does that look like? And just share it in the chat again, please.

I should feel joy coming out of my screen. Awesome, confidence, in the zone, best night of my life. Yes, Heather. Charlie, confident. Jacqueline, pretty sure. Oh, I just missed that. You're coming in fast, team. Confident, gratitude, important. Purposeful advanced planning. Sense of fun and satisfaction. Great. Confidence. Amazing ego booster. On top of the world. It felt great. Proud. Prepared. Winning. Proud. Energetic and grateful. Amazing. Good. What else? Assured. Positive self-talk. Aware. Energized and proud. I did it. Accomplished and satisfied. Amazing.

Quick question. Do you think that very same event, had you had been in the same way of acting, thinking, feeling, as we spoke about in the negative section, that probably wouldn't have turned out as well, right? So, that was what Katie meant when she said to me, "You already know. You already have the tools. You just need to show up." And so, there's this element of self-reflection, and so important for us to use all the time, and it's this piece is the mindset piece. If you don't believe that you can do something, if you're not willing to take a chance on yourself, you cannot expect your team, or the rest of your peers to take a chance on you either, nor lead them to do the same. And so, for example, on my mentorship, there are five modules.

There's mindset, movement, programming, women's health, and business. And the mindset is the biggest module at the start. I've got women on there who are sports scientists. They've done a master's in sports science but they still don't have that belief, and they're not going to be able to share their gifts with the world if they don't believe that they can do it. And so, that's why this part is so important, that the belief piece is so important, and again, I say again and again, it's continued work. It's not this endpoint that you get to. It's continued work all the time and it's hard.

I worked with Katie because I wanted to improve my performance physically, and so I knew I had to address that mentally. And I would get to the end. She would give me these tiny little tasks to do, and me being me at the time, she would say, "Right. I want you to do this visualization the day before whatever competition." And so, I'd message her and I'd be like, "Katie, I'm all sorted. On the hour, every hour, I'm going to do that visualization, so I'm going to be so ready for the competition the next day." And she was like, "Pipe down, Joslyn. I want you do it the night before the competition and I want you to do it the morning of the competition." Because my belief was always more is more.

These small tasks that she gave me to do were still so mentally tough, I would speak to her the following week on the phone and be like, "Katie, that was exhausting. That was so exhausting." Catching my thoughts, reframing them, which we'll talk about in a bit, and turning them into something positive, like it's a lot of work.

Effective Communication in Your Club

Okay, cool. That moves me onto the next piece, which is communication. So, we've looked at what showing up looks like for you. You now have a bit of a blueprint for what you need to be thinking, feeling, and acting before, during, and after showing up. Of course, that can be honed for different situations, but you have your little kind of blueprint there. So, the next piece is communication, and I think that one of the biggest gifts you can give as a leader to your team is to teach them how to communicate effectively.

Get the Recognition You Deserve

I'm going to tell you another little tale. About five or six years ago, I really, I had this kind of work hard ethos, and let's just see, and I had done pretty well for myself in the fitness industry. I felt really confident in my work. I knew who I was. And everything felt good. And two things happened within about six months of each other. The first was I was not selected to do this talk at this place, and I knew the other person who was, and I knew that I was better qualified. I knew that I would deliver better. And I was just a bit like, "Hm. That's a bit annoying. Okay." And then six months on, there was another coach, and everybody was raving about how amazing he was, and we kind of did the same stuff. And I was a bit like, "Hm. I do that stuff, too. Why is everybody not raving about me?"

It wasn't their fault that they got picked, or people were raving about them, or whatever. And I wasn't angry at the company who didn't pick me, because I always think, "Well," I start with me. What could I do better? Why was I not picked? The work starts with me. So, I realized slowly but surely that it was communication. It was the language that I was using. And I was being small and hiding behind hard work and kind of just always wanting to help everybody. And I thought that that was enough to move me forward. But I didn't want to take up too much space or too much of anyone's time.

Get Rid of Wallflower Language

I fell upon a book by a lady called Tara Moore and it's called Playing Big. And she talks about the language that we use, and it's quite common amongst women, this kind of language use. She talks about us using words like:

  • Just
  • Actually
  • Sorry, but…
  • Does that make sense

We're shrinking ourselves with the words that we use. My sister does it all the time, so my sister will call me up and she'll start with, "Sorry, Jos." Not hello. "Sorry, Jos. Just calling you to say a quick hi. I know you're busy, but I just wanted to check are you okay to pick up," one of my nieces or nephews. Before she's even said hello, she's become this small by saying, "I'm just. Sorry, but." And just apologizing for her very existence. I call this wallflower language.

In the book, it's a great book of Tara's, Playing Big. There's a list of all of these different words that we use to make ourselves smaller, or just ensuring that we don't talk up too much space. Another big one is, “does that make sense?” An old boss of mine did this amazing presentation a few years ago and I was like, "That was amazing." And at the end of it she said, "Does that make sense?" And I was like, "No!" Because at that stage I already knew about these different words and phrases that we use to make ourselves feel a little bit small. And so, what I often get my students to do, or other people who I hear speaking small, is to do a bit of a language audit. So, to have a look at your emails... Anita says, "I say does that make sense all the time." Yeah, a lot of people do say it all the time.

Perform a Language Audit

Do a language audit. Have a look back over your emails. Are you using just, or are you using sorry, but, or look at your texts. Pull out those words. And I know that it's done because you're not trying to take up someone's time, but in some ways if you are vague around your requests, then it does take up somebody's time, because they're trying to figure out what it is that you're wanting. And a great example of that was my Women in Fitness Summit one year. I think I was probably speaking about maybe Katie Page, the sports psychologist, and one of the attendees put up her hand, she asked a question, and I said, "Yeah, absolutely. Drop me an email. I've got something to send to you. Just drop me an email and remind me."

Maybe a week later, I got this email, "Hi, Joslyn. I'm so sorry. Just a quick email. At the Women in Fitness Summit, you mentioned this lady that you thought might be able to help you, and I know you mentioned that maybe I should send you an email just to check that, and is it okay if you could send that to me? I know you're busy, though, so don't worry too much." It had I'm sorry written all over it.

Changing that around and taking those words out to, "Hey, Joslyn. I really loved that talk at the summit. You mentioned to me that there was a lady that you thought could help me. I would love to have her details. I'm really looking forward to implementing what it is she can teach me." Same email, same request, but completely different. I think a language audit is a really important one, and now actually my mentorship students call me out, because if I start a message with, "Sorry, team," or whatever. Or I start it with sorry, team, but I'll say, "Hi," blah blah bah. Sorry I haven't had a chance to... And they're like, "You said sorry!" But I'm like, "No, I'm actually sorry, as opposed to just being sorry for my presence."

Cut Out Upspeak

Then the next one is upspeak. This is a common one. It's just raising your voice at the end of a sentence or a statement that turns that statement into a question. You could say, "I recommend we proceed with the first option." Or you could say, "I recommend we proceed with the first option." One, you're asking permission, and the second one you're making a statement. And then the final one... Oh, so good question, so what alternatives do you suggest for does that make sense? Does anybody have any questions on what I've just spoken about? Does anybody have any questions? Yep, that's just a flip question to that. Okay?

Reframe to Combat Imposter Syndrome

Then the final one is reframe.

With the reframe, and this is a big one. Again, it's one of the big things I use in the kind of mindset module piece in the mentorship, is lots of coaches in their first one to three years feel like imposters in the fitness industry. They feel like they don't know enough. They feel like they shouldn't be in the industry. They feel like somebody else is already doing what they're doing. And so, they're like, "Oh, shouldn't be here, shouldn't be here shouldn't be here." And a common one is, for example, "Oh, I just don't know. I don't know as much as the other trainers." And then the reframe is again, taking that sentence from negative, "I don't know as much as the other trainers." External. Remember, we're always just focusing on what we can do and what we can control.

A lot of coaches will say, "I just don't know enough. I don't know as much as the other trainers." And then the reframe of that is, "I am doing the best that I can with the knowledge that I have now and I'm willing to learn and continue as I move forward in my career, my journey." Whatever it is. So, the reframe is really, really important, and actually I got an email just the other day and it was from a coach who was thinking about their goals. And their goal was, and you can imagine what I thought when I read this, their goal was to be worthy of other people... I can't remember now exactly what it was, but it was something to the tune of to be worthy of other people's thanks and praise around her coaching.

In my head, I was just like... Then she told me all the things that she wanted to do and I was like, "Surely by doing all of those things and focusing on all of those things, that will naturally happen, but that shouldn't necessarily be your goal." Again, it's that external validation, and when she read that she was like, "Oh yeah, gosh, actually that feels better."

Okay, cool. We've gone through communication. One example I had of that, actually, and the reason why I think it is quite a gift to give to the rest of your team in terms of communication is that it kind of gets things done a little quicker. So, an example I had was maybe about maybe eight years ago, nine years ago. And I was coaching at a gym and I was not getting paid, but my coaching hours paid for my membership and my use of the gym and so on and so forth. And I gained a lot of experience there and it was amazing.

Then a friend of mine started working there. He'd been coaching there three or four months and we were just mopping up the floor at the end of the session, and he said to me, "Oh, my pay didn't come on time this week." And I was like, "Your pay, you say? Pardon?" And I was like, "You get paid?" And he said, "Yeah, of course I get paid. I've got paid from the start." And I was just a bit like, "Okay." And again, luckily I had started to... I knew about the communication piece. I knew about speaking without excusing myself. And so, I ended up sending, because the owner of the gym at the time wasn't in the U.K., and I just ended up sending him a message saying, "Hey, how's it going? Can we arrange a call to discuss me getting paid for the work that I'm doing?" And that was it.

Had I not have done the language or communication audit, or the language audit, that would have been this long-winded blah with probably a few apologies thrown in there. But it wasn't. And it was very direct. And I think when you enable people to communicate in that way, often you will get a very swift answer back. And so, we had the conversation, and it was direct, and I was able to be as direct on the phone, and it was great.

I think that it's so beneficial to teach that within teams, because when teams, or members of staff, or whoever, are empowered to ask questions and be direct and ask for what they want, you know exactly whether you can give that to them or not, so you empower them to ask them for what they want, and also just pointing to the idea that receiving “no” is okay. Being told no is okay.

Let's say if you have a member of your team and they're asking for a pay raise, for example, and they're told no, and they've communicated in a direct way and it's been efficient communication and all that. They can then ask themselves two questions. Well, can I grow anymore here? And if that's a no, then maybe they'll move on. Or they'll say, "Well, maybe there's more work to do. Maybe there's more I need to prove, or show, or whatever in order to get that promotion." But either way, they're not equipped with some choice. They stay and they get better and improve, or they go, and then that gives the opportunity for someone else to come up the ranks, or you end up without a team member who is dissatisfied within your company, within your team. To be able to teach all of that is such a gift, because it empowers people to then ask the questions, be direct, feel heard, and all of those things.

How Can We Show Up as Better Leaders?

We've covered communication. Let's move onto the next piece, which is what I think we can do best as leaders. How can we show up better as leaders? We've talked around showing up for ourselves. Obviously, if we're showing up in the best way, that's going to be good for us. It's going to be good for us as leaders. And then we're going to be leading by example and encouraging others to show up for themselves. If we communicate well with our team and also teach them the value of effective communication, then everybody is happier. But there's two final pieces that I hear often from leaders, and I kind of disagree, and I know that the intention is good, but I disagree with it a little.  

Speak to the Old You

The first is, and I've spoken to a little bit around imposter syndrome anyway, and how it's such a common thing, and imposter syndrome also isn't this thing that comes along and then goes once you feel, "Oh, I've made it to the next level." Because it's always that new level, new devil piece so you have this imposter syndrome, you work through that, you work through the fear, you show up for yourself, you check your language, and then you move to the next level and you're like, "Oh God, I'm here. What am I doing here?" So, new level, new devil, all the time.

The thing that I've heard quite a bit from some leaders, some people who've made it, is this idea of: imposter syndrome's just rubbish, it doesn't exist, it's just absolute... Yeah, it's just not a thing. Don't even think about it. And they say that because they've managed to work through all of those levels and they've worked through that imposter syndrome several times, enough to think to themselves, "I've got the tools to know what that feels like and to know how to get through it."

If they think to themselves when they were starting out, when they don't have the tools, when they don't have maybe somebody giving them that advice, showing them how to show up, then what you end up doing is widening the gap. By telling somebody who's just starting out, or just a year, or two, or three into their career that imposter syndrome doesn't exist, that just widens the gap. It doesn't help them at all.

What I always try and do is if I'm giving advice to those who are starting out, those who are just beginning, those who are embarking on their career, who haven't even kind of put their foot in the door of wherever, is speak as if you're speaking to the old you. Again, I suppose it comes back to that question that people always ask me, of what would you have told your younger self? And now I know actually she's still advising me, but what would you have told yourself when you were just starting out? Instead of these are all the things I've learned along the way. And here's where I'm at, and I can tell you that imposter syndrome's rubbish, because that doesn't help them at all. Always communicate in a way that speaks to the old you.

Ensure Access for All

The second thing I hear is around why we have specific events for different people. And I have been asked why my Women in Fitness Summit is called The Women in Fitness Summit, and men can absolutely attend. It's not a problem at all. And I heard somebody say, I think they were talking about another fitness summit. I think it was a strength summit. And again, this was from somebody who has done exceptionally well, and they said, "I don't believe it should be called..." Let's say if it was the Women in Strength Summit. I don't know if it was called that, but something to that tune. "I don't think it should be called specifically a women's strength summit. I think it should just be called the Strength Summit. Because I believe that we're all equal."

That's great if you've already arrived there, but access is so important because if people don't see it one foot, or two feet, or three feet in front of them, and all they've got is this thing miles away, that looks too big, too scary, too them not being seen, then we're not going to get to this equal thing. You know, my vision for the fitness industry is that in 10 to 20 years time, it's going to look like a different space and place.

I'm under no illusion that there will still not be the need for women-only events, events for people of color, events for transgender individuals. I'm under no illusion that that's going to be the case, but what I do think is that if you are there, if you have got there, it's so important to be able to provide access for those just starting out and for those who still see a massive gap between where they are and where you are now. So, it's the put yourself back in the shoes of starting out and then communicate from there.

We've gone through, again, showing up, our tools or showing up, our communication, how we can do better as leaders.

A Four-Question Review for Health Club Leaders

I said that mindset, showing up, all of that is continued work, and I use something every day. I'll use it after this call. I use it multiple times a day, in fact. It is just a four-question review. This is what I learned from again, the lovely Katie Page. I also learned a more refined version from another performance coach, Emma Hackett. There are four questions that you ask yourself after any event, meeting, call like I'm doing now, and what it forces you to do is even if you have that negative situation, it forces you to turn that or take something from that and turn it into a positive.

The four questions are:

  1. What went well?
  2. What would I do differently?
  3. How does this give me confidence?
  4. What could I do better next time?

I like this particularly for situations that don't go as well as you might have wanted them to, because it forces you to pull something positive out of that situation. Again, if you look back over the negative piece, and I know I told you to rip that piece of paper up, excuse me, but if you have a situation, an experience and interaction, conversation, and that didn't go well, pull out something that did go well from it. Then what would you do differently? Is there something actually that if you had that time again you would change? Great. Write that down.

Then how does it give you confidence? Well, you've already taken something positive from a potentially negative experience. You already know what you would do next time. And then that final piece is what would I do better next time? And I say that it's really good for negative experiences, but I do it for absolutely everything, because for a positive experience, you might think actually that it's unnecessary to do that four-question review, but a final example I have is a talk that I gave about 12 years ago to about... I think it was about 100 fitness coaches and I prepped for ages for it. I did loads of prep. It was an hour long. I was standing up, talking. Went really well. Everyone was asking loads of questions at the end. I was just like, "Yes!" Like, "This is so good. I am the shit."

I did the same talk two weeks later to a group of 15 people and it was absolutely awful. Now, I think I was just complacent from the previous one, but there was no review, there was no approaching it like I'm doing it for the first time again, so it's important just to take those positive ones, as well as the negatives, and actually, like I said, I apply it to everything. Review, review, review. I probably do it about five or six times a day. That's my final piece. I believe we are opening up for some questions before we close. But thank you so much for listening.

Questions

MM: Definitely. Thank you so much, Jos. I love that and I'm definitely going to get that four-question review in on the regular on my day to day. We have received a question, and obviously guys, if you have had questions, I know that we got a lot of questions in through chat that Jos has answered, but if you have any more questions, please put them into the Q&A. Brittany has asked, "How do you differentiate between being direct in your communication and not being blunt?"

JTR: Yeah. I think it is... Could she give me an example? Has she got an example of that would be great, and I think that when you take out those words, what you're doing is you're bringing greater clarity, and sometimes that can feel a bit direct. But it's then in the tone of how you say it. So, if I go back to the piece where I was talking about the upspeak of, "I recommend we proceed with the first option." The small is, "I recommend we proceed with the first option?" I mean, don't take my word for it is what you're saying there. Or there's, "I recommend we proceed with the first option." Or there's, "I recommend we proceed with the first option." That's the bit that's rude, you know? So, it's how it comes out rather than what you're saying, but it's so important just to take those extra kind of cushiony words out. And it is getting used to doing that and you'll catch yourself on it, as well. I do it all the time, like, "Okay."

That comes into your four-question review. What went well? In that case, what would I have said differently? It will take a bit of practice. You may not get it first off.

MM: Rebecca has asked what was the syndrome you were mentioning? And I'm assuming she's talking about the imposter syndrome. Can you tell us a little bit for those who don't know or have never heard of the imposter syndrome what that is?

JTR: Yeah, sure. So, imposter syndrome is usually something, it's where you find yourself in a position, whether it's work, or a group of people, where you sort of feel like you don't belong there. And that could be because you're just starting out, or you feel like you don't know enough, but along with imposter syndrome is this feeling that you're going to get found out. You're going to get found out for what you don't know. People are going to be able to say, "You don't belong here." And this is all happening inside your head. It's not actually happening on the outside. So, it's just when you find yourself in a new situation. It's kind of lack of familiarity, I suppose.

And there's this element that you have to try and prove yourself, but this loudness of what other people think, and your deserving of being there, but it's completely created in your head. And it happens loads.

MM: Yeah. No, I've had it with every single role I've taken on. I love how many questions we're getting about communication, by the way. I love how seriously everyone is taking it and how important it is. Because as you said, it's important for the team, it's important for yourself. You mentioned a language audit when you were talking about communication, talking about wallflower communication, and Eric has asked how you convey that directness in a written message, and people have said written is super tricky. And I was hoping that you could talk a little bit more about how you would go through a language audit, because I feel like that would probably help with the written side of things, as well. So, what exactly-

JTR: Yeah, sure. Well, I think the first piece is I suppose you would write out as you would naturally write. Then you would look for those kinds of words where you're excusing yourself. So, instead of saying something like, "I know you're so busy," say something like, "Thank you so much for your time." So, it's a positive rather than a negative. Or direct doesn't mean that it doesn't come without the, "Hey, how are you?" At the start of an email. Or a, "Hi, such and such. I hope you're having a good week." And then I'll often close off my emails with thanks so much, depending on who I'm emailing.

Let’s have a look at the email, take out those apologetic words, and almost look for I suppose a reframe within them. I'm just seeing Ron's comment here. When I first, I was [inaudible 00:52:59] then reframe to fake it till you make it, because you can always learn and get better if you want to. And look, on that, if I'm not failing regularly, I'm not moving forward. I welcome that so much. And if I have a feeling of, "Oh, I shouldn't be here or this person's doing better," now I feel I have the mindset to go, "Okay, that's triggered something in me. What does it actually mean?" Okay, it means I need to level up a bit. Oh, okay, it means this. Oh, okay, it means that.

Just recognizing that self-talk and being aware of what that looks like and how that can lead you, because if you're not intentional around your thoughts, and we have like thousands of thoughts going through our heads, then they can take over. I think it's something like... Emma Hackett, who's a performance coach that I... Actually, we've recorded a podcast together, so you can probably listen to that one, as well. And she says something like 80 or 85% of our thoughts are negative. And you kind of think, "How do I have a hope if I'm fighting against that?" But I think it's just taking an email, and maybe I could look at an email. Could I look at an email that I've received that might be apologetic? Let's see. I don't know if I will find one in due time.

Yeah. No, that's not one. I think it's just taking out the excusing yourself and always instead of being sorry, being grateful. Or if you were emailing about something you weren't happy with, I always think that that is better in conversation than kind of... Because words can be like... But also in conversation, so I'm going a bit back and forth here, but in conversation, silence is also very powerful. So, if you make a request for something, or you talk about something that you would like changed, to be silent and let the other person then speak, because what can happen is if you make a request, or if you talk about something you're unhappy with, once you've done that, you can sometimes get this sense of, "Oh my God, I can't believe I've just said that." And then you start apologizing and all of these words come out.

Silence is also very powerful in conversation. But in the communication, play around with it. And gosh, feel free to send me an email and suggestions of how I might change it. I would love that. I love those. I love doing things like that.

MM: We'll definitely be sharing Joslyn's contact with you guys after this. We have time for about two more questions, and there's one that Meg sent through which I love, because I'm the mom to a young little boy, and I know that when I was pregnant with my first child, I came to Jos looking for motherly advice. And so, Meg asked, "What thoughts do you have to support children in developing a leadership mindset?" I think this could be so beneficial for them.

JTR: Yeah. That's a really good one. And actually, I was speaking about this the other day on a call. There's actually, there's a lady that I follow actually if you don't know of her, is it Megan that asked that question?

JTR: Meg. Sorry, Meg. Her name is Janet Lansbury, and she's got a book called No Bad Kids. And it's excellent because she sees them as whole people, and things like instead of saying, "Oh. Well, mommy thinks this." I'll say, "I think this." So, instead of like, "Mommy wants you to put on your shoes." I want you to put on your shoes. Because it gives... You then become more equal, rather than them thinking, "Oh, mommy does everything for me and she's speaking in third person." It's not a direct communication, so if you can communicate with them as whole humans, and also a really great tip that she gave was would you speak to a colleague at work in the same way that you would speak to your child?

If said, my eldest is five. If I said, "Bjorn, now I don't think that was a very good idea, do you?" If you spoke to a colleague at work like that, can you imagine? They would be like, "Excuse me?" I think if you can communicate with them in, like I said, the same way you would with colleagues, then they start to feel like they have a voice. They can speak up. It kind of develops that language from early on, and then of course from there on in, you can kind of build on that. But Janet Lansbury is great. She literally, my husband and I are like, "Okay, we need to listen to Janet."

MM: Awesome. That is great. And I've used that advice and that book, as well, in raising my child, and yeah, it's been great.

JTR: Yeah, it is.

MM: We are out of time, but obviously I want to thank everyone who's tuned in. I know everyone is super busy, so we really appreciate the time that you've spent with us today, and we hope that it has been useful. I know that this has been amazing for me. All the knowledge bombs have been dropped by Joslyn. So, also thank you to Joslyn for taking time out of her day, kind of late in the evening, because she's in London.

As we mentioned in the beginning, Joslyn has a podcast that we'd love for you guys to check out. Fitness Unfiltered. She also hosts the Women in Fitness Summit. It's in London, so traveling, but I think we're planning on-

JTR: This year it's probably going to be online, because... Can we all be in one space? Probably [inaudible 00:59:17], so it's undecided.

MM: Also, she mentioned her coaching and mentorship, so Jos, if you want to just real quick talk about how people can find out more about that coaching mentorship?

JTR: Yeah, sure. Just did an end slide there, so it's basically an eight-week coaching mentorship for female coaches. Ideally for those within the first one to three years in the fitness industry, but I do have coaches that have been there for 10 years, 15 years, because again, that mindset and that self-belief piece is so important. And then we go through movement, we go through programming, we go through women's health, and then we finish off with business, because I think that the first piece and the last piece are bits that a lot of coaches don't necessarily think about when they first start out in the industry, and I'm very much a back-to-basics girl, so we go deep on movement, and programming, and women's health.

I love it, and the next time, there's an intake on at the moment, the next one is in September, so if you want to get on the wait list or you're interested in hearing more about it, just drop me an email. Joslyn@JoslynThompsonRule.com. I can add you on.

MM: Awesome. Great. Thank you all so much. Thank you again to Jos. Much love. This has been awesome. Have a great [inaudible 01:00:34]-

JTR: Thank you! Thank you so much. Thanks for your great questions.

MM: Bye.

JTR: Bye-bye.  

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