I’ve had my fair share of gym memberships. In various gyms I’ve seen great trainers, and I’ve seen some down right horrible trainers just based on how the client responds to the trainer. I don’t hide the fact that I’m a personal trainer, but I don’t flaunt it either. In the course of conversations with other gym members, I’ve found that many trainers often leave clients with more questions than they give answers, and when I’m asked as a personal trainer to clarify something that their trainer has told them, I do my best to give an honest after getting more information. Without sounding pompous, the case has been that more often than not I was able to more effectively answer a question for another trainer’s client than was the trainer.
Some trainers would consider me giving these answers as “undercutting” them or trying to take their business, but I make it a point not to solicit other trainers’ clients as a professional courtesy. What is the most professional way to deal with situations like this, and do you think that it is wrong to simply clarify something for another trainer’s client if that client wasn’t satisfied with the answer that the trainer gave him/her? Also, do you think that as professionals we should just stand idly by and watch other trainers’ clients have less than fulfilling fitness experiences? Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Concerns? I’m open!
For me the line of demarcation is whether my opinion is asked for. I never interject myself into another trainer’s client-trainer relationship; in my opinion that’s just bad business and lacks professionalism. We trainers consider ourselves professionals, and so I always try to analogize what we do, and how we interact with the public, both our own and other trainers’ clients to how other professionals manage those interactions. I don’t think you’d ever see another physician talking with a patient about how that patient’s doctor is treating them, unless they are engaged in a doctor-patient relationship, ditto for lawyers, accountants… I recognize that some of these other professions have codes of conduct and ethical codes, however the idea is that if we are, and want to be, viewed as professionals, we need to begin to respect the professionalism of our colleagues, even when we disagree with something they are doing.
If I’m asked my opinion, I will give it – no problem. I will not interfere with another trainer’s client unsolicited base on ethics, professionalism, and quite frankly also liability.
I hope this helps.