In this weeks guest blog, personal trainer, Brian Ellem of My Lifestyle Studio , explains the importance of client relationships and building trust in his audience. His advice trancends the realm of physical training and could be applied effectively to any industry that values its clients, especially the communications industry.

Building an authentic, open dialogue with both client and audience is key to what we do in public relations. Read on to see how Brian builds that client bond and why its so important.

Having an environment, which is safe and comfortable, requires consideration for your level of education and your ability to motivate clients, but I believe these two important areas are small components to the overall outcome of long-term client adherence to an exercise program.

A willingness and an ability to connect with the feelings and emotions of an individual is essential. Your interpersonal interactions, provides the atmosphere that an individual steps into on a daily basis and it is the appreciation that deep connections occur as a result of successful moments of communication, that is important to me.

Build strong client relationships through honesty and openess

As a client arrives, they arrive with a lengthy history of life experiences, which formulate personal attitudes and beliefs. These experiences are complex, drawing consideration to multiple sociological, psychological and environmental issues. It is your role as trainer, to not only provide them with an opportunity to impart them, but it is also your role to remember what’s being said in that moment and to listen with your full attention to responses without judgement. These moments of communication provide a critical baseline to work from and until you have created a solid communication foundation, it is very difficult to move forward.

Asking questions, hearing stories, listening to responses and keeping information about that individual stored up in your mind, is critical for exercise programming success. You can find out a lot about an individual in discussions about everyday life issues and rather than seeking to have your own opinion heard, your most important role is to listen carefully to opinions in that moment that it is given and to store it.

Soon you have a gathering of beliefs, attitudes, motivations, life experiences, significant moments, as well as day-to-day challenges, conflicts and concerns. You now know a little more about the difficulties that your client faces in achieving the goals that are outlined in your program, because ultimately you know these goals must somehow become integrated with all of this information.

Having someone to talk to, who will listen, is also quite powerful. I believe our society falls short on sincere human contact. That connection with another human being that is non-judgmental, caring and considerate. That opportunity to speak about issues and concerns with someone you trust, knowing that you are safe to have them heard. One-on-one, face-to-face, safe, non-judgmental communication is sliding, but I believe it is essential and the strong relationships that can be formed from giving your ear and a non-judgmental attitude is quite powerful. You may be a person’s only ear.

It is only when you have gained a person’s trust during these significant moments and enabled them to feel safe in your space, that you can expect them to have any chance of extending themselves to a level that is expected for the objectives that are desired. You build trust and respect through many means. I feel that consideration, kindness and thoughtfulness in your moments of communication are integral building blocks to a healthy, strong relationship.

Ok now we can start doing some training.