Smart Pause…

Dec 21, 2011
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For this editorial piece, I have put myself in the “sneakers” of the health and fitness professional.  In an age of smart-phones, tablets, I-pads, and ever emerging technology, there is possibly an unintended consequence for health and fitness professionals.  It is almost too easy to send off a quick email or text anytime, anywhere, sometimes at the literal and direct expense of the person we are trying to serve.

In my view, Health and Fitness professionals need to exercise high degrees of self-monitoring and caution and avoid the urge to send a text or email and evaluate “is this truly the right time for this?”  Sure, many of us do not have personal secretaries to field calls or triage the urgency for a reply.  The availability of the smart-phone, texting options, and related technology allows us in theory to better prioritize our work and tasks.  In our work, particularly within the health and fitness fields, the priority should always be on the person in front of us.  They are paying for a segment of our time, our skills, and ultimately our attention.

The client that we see needs our professional conduct, assessment skills, monitoring skills, creativity, and problem-solving.  When a client walks through our door, they are engaging us to deal with issues of importance to them.  The client does not want to be told to wait while we hit the “send” button to send off a message or text.  They do not want to be literally put on “hold” while we respond to the vibrating or ringing devices in our pocket- in any instance before a session or worse during a session.

In an age of speed, the unintended consequences of this technology include a diminishing ability to attend, focus, listen, and engage with people directly in front of us.  A client with whom we work with knows when we are not paying attention.    Sure, we might be able to repeat the sentence or two that was just said.   Yet, can we honestly conclude that we have given our full attention to the paying  client; if we are looking at the smart-phone calendar, keyboard to text, or if we are searching menu options on a device while the client is trying to engage us?

Consider turning off technology before and during a session.  The client needs our complete attention and needs our professional skills.  By temporarily shutting down the smart-phone and related technology, the message relayed to the client is:

1.         Your time is my time and I value it.

2.         I (the professional) am committed to your needs and goals and you have my complete attention.

The client as a result will be more likely to engage and carry-out the intent of the session.

The paying customer is the heart of our business.  Hitting the “off” button on various forms of technology does have its rewards including maintaining a respect, a rapport, and having a person walk back through the door for our services.

Author: Kerry



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