The trainer-client relationship is a rather unique and complex one. It’s true that that we are to serve our clients with the utmost professionalism. However, there are lines and boundaries that can’t and shouldn’t be crossed. Here are my helpful tips in handling this matter:
1) Examine yourself first. How do you approach training sessions? Do you bring low energy? Are you upbeat and positive? Body language is so easy to pick on. A client will notice if his or her trainer is not enthused during training sessions and can be left discouraged and uninspired. If you have family and/or personal matters affecting your energy at the gym, I’d suggest you take a few days off to clear your head. One of the hardest part of our job is maintaining a positive attitude at all times during training sessions.
2) Examine the client. Having to adjust to different client personalities can be a very daunting task. Is the client always moody? Is he/she bipolar or even suffering from depression? Fortunately for me, I’ve only had 2 of such clients in my 10-year career. It turned out that one was on anti-depressants which caused severe mood swings. Luckily we were able to fix it and get her completely off her meds. I was forced to fire the other one after several attempts to make it work.
3). This brings me to my final point. If after these examinations, the client continues to be negative, you may have to let him/her go or refer to another trainer. Not every client will get along with you. Remember that as professional as we all are, we shouldn’t compromise our integrities and dignities at the expense of making money or making someone happy.
Hope this helps!