“We don’t learn from talking; we learn from listening.” This quote speaks volumes to us in the fitness industry as we should be spending time listening to our clients, every session. In a world of instant gratification and constant hustle and bustle, we often times neglect listening to others. This skill is vital in a career as a personal trainer because we become so hands on with our clients, they tell us everything and it is our duty to take the time to listen no only to their words but also their body language and tonicity of their voice. Here is a few tips on listening as a personal trainer:

Ask Questions

You can set an expectation of trust with a new client by genuinely asking them questions about their needs, wants and expectations. In the initial consultation asking specifics about their goals and why that is important to them establishes some trust between you and them. It is important to note that when you ask a question, don't ask it with the intention of replying ask it with the intention of listening and gathering valuable information about your client.

Give Eye Contact

When you look at someone when they are speaking, it shows you are interested in what they have to say. This will, in turn, make it easier for them to tell you important information. What your clients tell you could help you understand them more or give you more insight on what they struggle with, so that you can serve them better. Eye contact shows your genuinely interested in their story and thus builds respect and trust.

Provide Feedback Only When Asked

In my 12 years as a trainer I have been told some heavy information from clients. It ranges from mundane to secrets they have never told anyone. It is not my job to judge or to provide commentary on sensitive subject matter unless they ask for my opinion. For example; I once had a client who confessed their binge eating habits to me. It would be easy for me to jump the gun and show my disapproval, as it hurts our results, but I just listened and absorbed what she was telling me. No judgement, no yelling just listening. We worked through that issue and I was able to listen to what the issue was and developed a plan to help her overcome it.

Listening is Leadership

The basic principle of leadership to listen. By listening you show your leadership skills. As a fitness professional, you are a leader. We influence our clients to become better version of themselves by listening we show that we care and are willing to do what ever it takes to help our clients achieve their goals.

It is our civic duty to perform at a high level with every client we have. It is also our jobs to listen to our clients, no matter what they tell us. In your next session just ask your client how their day was and how everything is going and sit back and listen. You may be amazed at what they share.