People do not like unsolicited advice and they really don’t like being told what they “should” do. As a personal trainer you want to build trust and rapport with your clients before you even consider giving out advice (even if it’s great advice). Your clients won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. As the great Stephen Covey put it we must first “firts seek to understand then to be understood.” This involves being open minded, empathetic, and non-judgmental. We as personal trainers need to listen more than we speak (especially at first). The first impression and the initial stages of the client-trainer relationship are crucial to building trust with the client and opening them up to your ideas, thoughts and advice. In order to get there we must first be open to their thoughts and ideas and really seek to understand where they are coming from, their struggles, fears, beliefs, and what they are trying to achieve.