Everyone can talk. Talking is easy. But not everyone can communicate. The ability to communicate is a skill, paramount for success as a trainer or Fitness Professional. The ability to respond in a manner that evokes emotion conveys your intention in a way that will be readily accepted and appreciated by a third party is an intricate skill to develop. When working in any people-centric profession, you need to respond to a variety of clients regarding many topics and have the ability to actively listen, observe behaviour and body language to develop those meaningful relationships that will facilitate trust in you and your expertise.
Using methods such as paraphrasing, summarising and reflecting on content are extremely helpful techniques in reassuring the client that you are hearing them and understand their current situation and where they want to go. As health can be a very emotional and sensitive topic these active listening techniques such as maintaining open body language when communicating, occasional nodding, eye contact and being relaxed are an excellent start to ensuring the client is feeling relaxed enough to open up about their thoughts.
Having said that, it is extremely important for the trainer to have dealt with their own sensitivities if they find they relate to some of their client’s emotional reasoning. Maybe the trainer has also experienced loss or conditions associated with health. Having dealt with your own sensitivities will allow you to remain objective for the client and enables one of the strongest human connections to occur in empathy. The client is entrusting you with some of their most well-kept secrets, so effective and appropriate communication is very important to consider.
Wasn’t it most recently, Chet Faker who preached that ‘talk is cheap’?
Unfortunately, ‘the biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.’ Let’s do our part to change this.
Until next time,
Yours in health & fitness,