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Strategic Communication

Oct 11, 2006

What is the best way to communicate with clients? Begin by recognizing primary sensory modalities, and incorporate this knowledge into your cuing. A visual person sees vivid images, has a strong ability to picture things, likes diagrams and written words and responds well to PowerPoint presentations. Sample cues: “Imagine you are drawing a straight line as you press upward.” “I see what you mean.” “Look at the position of my wrist.”

Someone whose primary sensory modality is auditory gathers information about a person through the sound of his words. Tone of voice, rhythm and volume become motivators. It isn’t so much what is said, as how it is said. Sample Cues: “Listen to the sound of your breath as it is compressed into a steady stream as you exhale.

A kinesthetic person “feels” things and trusts “gut feelings.” She takes longer to process information because it is routed through her body. Sample cues: “Push upward, feeling the weight evenly distributed between your arms as you press.”
Here are some additional guidelines to assist your cuing techniques:

Avoid trying to make changes all at once. Think in terms of changing one of your familiar cues from visual to kinesthetic. Ask yourself, “How can I change the wording to make this a kinesthetic cue?”

Speak and think in present tense. Use words such as visualize, imagine, feel, sense, pay attention and notice.

Stick to principles: What are you reinforcing? What is the line of action? Which sensory modality are you emphasizing?

Use images that are familiar to you. Keep a note pad and write down what works well right after a session while it is still fresh in your mind.

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