I have a client who I have been working with for a few months. She has canceled several sessions and I know she isn’t doing workouts at home, or following a healthy diet. This week is our last session (I am not sure if she plans on purchasing another package but I doubt it).
With most clients we would do an assessment to see where they have progressed, etc. I am a little hesitant to do this with her because I don’t want to discourage her at all, but at the same time I feel like it would be important to do. How would you approach this situation?
I do know in the way of form (doing squats, lunges, etc.) She has gotten better, so I will mention that to her. But, what would you say/do besides that?
Don’t be hesistant. Do what she has paid you to do and do the assessment. That assessment can be a wake up call for her. If she feels down, depending on the relationship you have with her, you can ask if there is anything that she thinks she could have done better and things like that. Ask questions that would make her do an self-evaluation. Now, if she asks for your honest input, then tell the truth without coming off like you are putting her down.
I think your initial hesitation about not wanting to discourage your client is right on target. Each client views the assessment in their own way, and if she has not been making progress then she will most likely have a negative feeling toward her final numbers–and that could further discourage her from continuing. There are obviously other factors that have been barriers for her to succeed, and forcing the assessment will only backfire (as the motivation must come from within).
One solution would be to sit down and have an open conversation with her about her journey and her goals. You can help her examine any specific concerns. Does she want the final assessment? You can certainly explain why it is important. But, if she doesn’t want it, let it go and respect her decision.
I would focus on her accomplishments as much as possible. Help to build her confidence and encourage her to move toward her goals.
Hello Missy Reece,
Our job as trainer is to keep the client motivated to move towards their goals. Maybe the assessment could be reassessing the goals instead of doing body reassessments. Leave it up to the client and let them know that they came to you for help and that is exactly what you are doing…not giving up on them. Of course, let them know where and how they improved and what still needs work.
I personally, need to rethink my goals, also. Let them know that we trainers are human and also have our own setbacks at times. When things click it will feel amazing.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
This is a delicate situation and handling it properly will benefit both of you. First of all, do you know why she has cancelled some sessions with you and why she hasn’t followed a proper diet? Knowing the reason why your client has made these choices will better prepare you for conversation during your final assessment. One thing I have learned over the years is to use what is called the “correction sandwich”. No one likes to be corrected or counseled on what they did or didn’t do. You mentioned that her form has improved so this can be an encouragement to her. Asking the right question(s) in a proper manner regarding her adherence to the fitness program will help her to see where she needs improvement. In her mind she may already see herself as a failure so repeating it won’t be very encouraging to her. Let her think about the reason(s) why she didn’t adhere to your program. Then follow up by reinforcing the positive (i.e., her form).
I wish you well and I hope this helps.