Your client walks in 5 minutes late for their weekly session. They are in a frenzy apologizing for running behind. In front of them is the same dog that you spent an hour with last week working on leash walking, door manners, obedience and outlining everything they have to work on that week. None of which included the dog pulling the owners into their next session.
You’re frustrated. “How can they show up late and clearly not being doing what I told them AGAIN!”. You let them settle in and finally ask “So how was the last week..?” Already knowing the answer.
Here’s the thing: All of your frustration that you have for things not going exactly as you planned will do you no good. Your clients are not dog trainers. They live a normal life with a real job that doesn’t always involve spending 8 hours a day working with their dog. Heck, my dogs are lucky to get a 20 minute session of “chuck-it” in the backyard after I finish working all of my clients dogs.
Do clients slack off? Yes. Do things not always go as planned? Yes. But can you learn from it? Absolutely. Begin to look for patterns in your clients struggles or lack of effort. If you are seeing a reoccurring trend in any of your programs target in on it. Ask yourself “can I make this more simple or better motivate my client?”.
Do some serious self evaluations of your programs. Simplify EVERYTHING where you can. It shouldn’t require hours of work at home every day to get the results they’re looking for. Connect with your client on a personal level. Find out what makes them tick. What motivates them or what hobbies they have at home. Use these all as key points to help them come up with homework that will fit their lifestyle.
Then add in what isn’t working on their end.
Without the blaming or shaming. They will already feel bad enough at that point. Discuss what is working and what isn’t. Inform them how much better things could be with some minor tweaks. And continue to help them move forward in a productive way.
1. Your clients will be more and more motivated as you make their goals more achievable.
2. You will realize that your programs will get better as you learn to communicate effectively with people that have a vast range of lifestyles.
So ask yourself. Did you put on the work?