I was reminded today of an importantcoaching concept that is so relevant to trainers but often overlooked -- theart of getting compliance. One of my clients struggles to lose weight becausethree or four times a week he'll go out with the boys and drink four or morebeers in a sitting. Although he knows this is his primary weakness, he isresentful of anyone trying to "tell him what to do." I knew if Icapped his alcohol consumption with a number of beers that I thought wasreasonable, or better yet tried to eliminate all alcohol for faster weightloss, the only thing I would accomplish would be bringing out the rebelliouslittle boy in him.

So I remembered the strategy used innegotiations where you let the opposing party tell you what they want, whattheir bottom dollar is, and then you happily meet it. Whenever something is theother person's idea, they are much more willing to stick to it. I asked myclient what would be the maximum number of beers he thought he should have whenhe went out with the boys. How many beers could he have and still have fun? Hesaid he could stick with a limit of three beers and that he would work hard todrink each one slower.

Is three beers in a sitting ideal forweight loss? No way. But it's at least one less than his usual, and he won'tfeel rebellious and angry as he would if he were not drinking at all and hisbuddies were. Mostly, it's movement in the right direction, and it is progresson his terms. And sticking with that will cause him to eventually lose weight.With that, both of us win.