Why Personal Trainers Need to have Good Listening Skills

We already know that strong communication skills are an indispensable trait that all personal trainers must possess if they want to carve a successful career. Unfortunately, listening is the most undermined of all the communication skills as the entire focus usually rests on speaking skills. While we cannot deny the importance of qualities like an extrovert, friendly nature and strong conversational skills in personal trainers, we cannot really discount the value of being a good listener – a skill that is crucial for success in all professions and more so with regard to personal training as it is such a people oriented job.

Effective communication begins with good listening abilities. Contrary to what you might believe, listening is not easy and does not come naturally to most people. Most people only hear, but few listen. Hearing is a physical activity that is involuntary and requires no effort but listening is a skill that you have to work on to develop.

How are listening skills useful in professional life?

Great listening skills enhance productivity, build a positive rapport and create a positive working environment.

They also help us:-

  • to better understand the task on hand and what is expected of us
  • Connect with co-workers, clients and bosses
  • Foster a healthy team spirit conducive to productivity
  • Resolve problems amicably
  • Understand the subtle implications of what others mean really mean when they say something

Why are listening skills so important for a personal trainer?

  1. Personal training requires a one to one interaction with the clients. Based on the clients’ objectives, situation and inclinations, their personal trainer creates a personalised fitness plan. This makes listening a vital skill as it helps personal trainers to identify exactly what the client is looking for and in obtaining the right info from them. By lending a willing, empathetic ear to the client, a personal trainer can perceive their unspoken fears and doubts and can then help to put them at ease by addressing their apprehensions.
  2. Listening carefully conveys to the clients that your concern for them is genuine and that you are not just carrying out a professional duty. It will help build a rapport of trust and confidence and enable them to better express their thoughts and expectations from the training programme.
  3. Unlike in the case of other professions, personal trainers are not limited in the scope of roles that they play. Besides being trainers to their clients, they often double up as their counsellors, life coaches, therapists and even mentors. Good listening skills are therefore crucial to be able to give sound advice based on the specific situation, background and limitations of the clients. It is based on the conclusions drawn from your interaction with your clients that will determine the fitness plan you design for them.

Tips to develop your listening skills

This may seem straight forward but is actually based on the principles of NLP (nuero-linguistic programming). Although listening does not come naturally to everyone, it is a skill that can be developed. Here are a few pointers that will help you sharpen this invaluable ability that can make a huge difference to your career graph.

While conversing with your clients make sure that you :-

  • Maintain eye contact
  • Sit still and don’t fidget
  • Nod your a head occasionally and lean slightly forward toward the speaker
  • Never interrupt
  • Sum up expectations/instructions and ask insightful questions when the speaker has finished
  • Don’t let personal prejudices hamper your communication
  • Don’t allow your attention to wander

Good listeners also possess the knack of going beyond the spoken words and picking up subtle non-verbal cues from facial expressions and body language. It is these gestures that convey the actual implications of what your client is really trying to say. Being able to perceive these subtle expressions would enable personal trainers to delve deeper into the minds of their clients, understand their aspirations and help fulfil them. Good listening skills could therefore be key to fulfilling your clients’ fitness goals and in turn leading you to achieving greater success in your dream career.

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Love Fitness Education

Love Fitness Education is a London based Fitness Training Provider delivering Personal Training Courses, Fitness Instructor Qualifications and CPD’s to budding fitness professionals in London. We have extensive experience in delivering fitness qualifications both in the UK and internationally and we pride ourselves on our reputation as the industry experts.