When Your Clients Don't Listen: Helpful Advice From Jennifer Michelle

Have you ever felt frustrated with a client's progress (or lack thereof)? Do you ever find yourself wishing your clients would just listen to what you are telling them? What do you do to regain your compassion for your clients? How do you remind yourself that change isn't a straight line? Guest blogger, Jennifer Michelle walks us through how to work with clients when they just don't (or can't) listen. Read on to learn more:

Goals aren't achieved in a straight line.

We all know this, we all experience it in our own lives, but it can be very frustrating to watch clients struggle when the answer is right in front of them. As the provider trying to help them feel better whether your role is to help them lose weight, get fit, or recover from an injury it can seem very clear to you what it is they need to do. In fact, you likely spend a lot of your day telling the same information to many of your clients. Your clients may even already know everything you are telling them. That's why watching them fail to implement your advice can get so frustrating. Sure, you knew when you got into this field that that would happen and maybe it's never bothered you before  but sometimes it does. Like today, maybe.

Take a back door approach.

On those days, it's important to give yourself some emotional breathing room. This isn't a situation that's going to fade away, given your profession, so it’s essential to find a new way round it. For me, I like to start by thinking of the times in my own life when I just couldn't do whatever it was I knew I should be doing. Even though I developed a plan that helped me regain my health, there have still been times when I have fallen off the wagon. I knew exactly where I was going wrong, and I knew exactly how to change that, but I wasn't doing it. That's a signal that there's an emotional concern going on behind the scenes. For me, it's usually that I have fallen off my own priority list and am running myself ragged. Changing that, though, is impossible without figuring out what emotion is motivating me to behave that way. I went through this just this past spring driving myself crazy, wearing myself out, but it took me awhile to stop doing it. In the end, I realized I was trying to control something I had no control over, which is a sure recipe for emotional collapse. Once I saw clearly what I was doing and why, I was able to address the emotional feeling of being out of control, and suddenly it was easy to get back on track with taking care of myself. So, when your clients aren't following through on your advice, take a step back and find out what's going on inside them. What fears or beliefs have cropped up that are making it impossible for them to stay on course.

Do that for yourself, too.

More importantly, when you're getting frustrated in this way, take some time and find out what's going on inside you, too. Many providers will find they are much better at helping get to the root of the problem with their clients than they are at doing that for themselves. But make it a priority to work on it you are a human being, too, and you need to explore your motivations and hesitations just as much as your clients do. Truly, to be in this field, you need to take care of yourself emotionally as well as physically. The first step is just taking quiet time to feel into yourself and get clear on what is causing you to feel so frustrated. Maybe someone in your personal life isn't listening to you at all and that is spilling into your work life. Maybe you are being drawn to teaching methodology more than working with individual clients and your frustration is a signal that you are ready to make a change. Whatever it is, getting to the root of it will dissolve the frustration you're experiencing and help you recover your passion for your work.

About the Author: Jennifer Michelle

Jennifer Michelle teaches health and fitness professionals how to create thriving careers without losing their passion for what they do. Jennifer has an MPH from Tulane University. She started her career with her own stress management consultancy and later created a line of award-winning athletic apparel. She now provides workbooks, programs, and individual consulting for health and fitness professionals looking to expand their businesses smartly, without burning themselves out. Check out her website here!

Upcoming Courses from Jennifer Michelle

HomeCEUC will release two new Jennifer Michelle Seminar-On-Demand continuing education courses this coming April. Be on the lookout for "Preventing or Healing, Where are you? Burnout Prevention for the Healthcare Professional" and "Marketing Essentials For Healthcare Professionals" coming very soon to our ever-growing course catalog.
This article was written by Amy-Lynn Corey

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