• Biggest Loser Trainer Get’s Wrong… or does she?

    Biggest Loser Trainer Get’s Wrong… or does she?

    Posted 25/03/2013 By in GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR PEOPLE With | 2 Comments

    The Biggest Loser is not a show I watch but I am aware of it.  I’m a bit of a fitness junkie and have had a long association with personal trainers so it’s certainly a theme I’m interested in.  I also don’t live under a rock so it’s virtually impossible not to know who Michelle Bridges is.

    michelle-bridgesBy and large she has been regarded as a positive role model and a real inspiration to thousands of people.  Seems like many people think she may have crossed a line on last nights episode.  The talk about town is that she has crossed a line from encouraging and  supportive to bullying and belittling.  I looked online and found this quote ”You can either go down Pussy Street, or Man-up road.” – Michelle.  My entire facebook community is abuzz with outrage at Michelle’s supposed transgression.

    I felt moved to comment.  The first thing I will reflect on is how interesting it is that Michelle Bridges can inspire and assist so many people to lose weigh,  regain control of their lives AND feel better about themselves.  For years.  In a very public and high profile way.  She has authored popular books on weight loss and cooking (there are two in my household and principles are simple and the food really is tasty).  She has an online community of thousands and has worked to support charity along the way.  Ok sure, she makes a buck out of her efforts but so what?  What’s interesting is how quickly perceptions change.  One event aired on television and the mood swings.  How fickle the mob.  You simply cannot take what you see on TV as the truth.  The wonders of modern video editing simply beggar belief.  I’ve seen it first hand.  You can literally twist and turn words and chop scenes to turn the original message right on it’s head.  So on one hand you have a life time of dedicated effort and positive contribution and the other a sound bite from a reality tv show.  I’ll let you draw your own conclusions there but it’s funny where the sentiment goes isn’t it [I mean funny as in unusual or weird, not as in funny ha ha].

    I was also thinking about various motivational styles.  Michelle used a tough love motivating style with brutal honesty.  Seems it ruffled more than just the contestants feathers.  Quick reality check here though:-  I think we need to be careful about drawing conclusions from what Michelle did on a tv game show and comparing that with what would wash in the real world.  I’ve also got no doubt that Michelle knows this and the the shows producers are thoroughly enjoying the social media debate.

    David McClelland’s Theory of Needs talks about three distinct styles of motivation, of which we can use all three but have a preference for one of them.  The three sources of motivation are:

    1. Achievement – this group seeks to excel and thus avoid both high risk and low risk situations.  They require regular feedback and like projects/challenges with a moderate likelihood of success.
    2. Affiliation – this group with a high need for affiliation prefer harmonious relationships with others and a strong need to be accepted.
    3. Power – an individuals need for power can be personal or institutional.  Those seeking personal power want to direct others (often viewed as undesirable .  Institutional power is about organising others to achieve the needs of the organisation. This is also known as social power.

    So of those three styles, which resonates best with you?  There is a test you can do to find out, but most people will have a fair idea.  Mismatching your motivational approach with someone else’s motivational style will quickly land you in hot water so its often a good approach to ask or to check in if you’re not sure.

    These contestants clearly have nowhere else to turn to and want to lose weight.  It’s what they signed up for.  To get all sentimental is not going to get that weight off.  I agree with Michelle that they need to harden up.  Now, if this was a paying client in a commercial environment I’ve got no doubt that Michelle would first work to build trust, get a handle on the motivational preferences of her client and then give it to them with both barrels.  At some point in making a transition, we need to face the reality of the current state.

    Please help me to spread the word by sharing.

      Sean is an experienced coach, speaker and facilitator who is passionate about improving the relationship between people, their work and the organisations they work for. If you want to get the most out of your managers, supervisors and their teams and think that work can or should be a rewarding and enjoyable component of a productive and meaningful life it might be worth a chat.

    2 comments on “Biggest Loser Trainer Get’s Wrong… or does she?

    1. Jacqui on said:

      Wow, I didn’t realise there was so much backlash about it. Everything she said was true and I think the way she worded it was relevant to his age and the way in which that age group would interact. He went back to his workout so she clearly got her message across so i consider it a positive result. X

      • Sean on said:

        I totally agree Jaq. Communication is not just what’s said, but what’s heard. I think he heard her loud and clear.

    Leave a Reply to Jacqui Cancel reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    HTML tags are not allowed.

    Why ask?

    Copyright Blaze Unlimited Pty Ltd, 2007. All rights reserved.