Why it Pays to be a Great Teacher to Your Clients
By Melinda Perkins – We laugh at the vision of a fish being tested to climb a tree, but do we really know what this translates to in our interactions with our clients?
We laugh at the vision of a fish being tested to climb a tree, but do we really know what this translates to in our interactions with our clients?
As health professionals, we want our clients to keep coming back until they get results, but we need them to become self-reliant along the way. This means we must teach them in a way that the information will be absorbed and retained. Unlike the fish and tree scenario, when we speak to and train with a person’s individual biology, we feed the mind and body in the perfect way at the perfect time to ignite the spark of motivation and spread the glue of adherence.
Nature vs Nurture
There is a popular idea that anyone can learn anything if we nurture this understanding to life using the correct format. Whether there are four, five, seven or more different learning styles, we tend to toss a bunch of them at a client to see what sticks. However, when we turn our focus from ourselves and zero in solely on the client and how they were created biologically, success increases exponentially. The question transforms from: “How do I teach this person?” to “Who is this person and what are they hungering to learn?”.
For example, we may have the perfect dietary protocol for a client that all of the science proves would bring lasting positive results. We pull out our best visual aids, share our latest podcast, send them to a cooking class and buy them the hard copy as well as the audible version of the most engaging book on the market. Two months later their eating habits are identical to the day they walked into our office, therefore their original issue is two months worse.
So, we put down our bevy of teaching aids and ask the question, “Who is this person sitting across from me and what does their biology hunger for?”.
This is where the HealthTypes come in handy. Say you have an Activator client, so you know that their biology hungers for action. They need to put tiny bits of information into immediate use. On their way out the door, you hand them a copy of a recipe, tell them you’re challenging a few clients to try it and whoever shoots you a selfie of them cooking first, gets a prize. The drive to win and the thrill of immediate positive feedback will spur them into the action they crave and get them one step closer to the results you both desire.
It’s simple, easy and effective. All you do to get them through the next two months and toward a better life overall is engage variations on a theme, because you also know that Activators love variety.
Is it Relevant?
The fish will never climb the tree, no matter how much you yell, cajole, assist or instruct. Tree climbing is simply not relevant to the fish. Likewise with your clients, offering the irrelevant information in precisely the correct fashion will still miss the mark.
You love what you do or you wouldn’t devote your life to it. Chances are that the clients who walk through your door don’t care even a tiny fraction as much as you about your chosen profession. So that’s what you give them. Precisely and only the bit of your profession that will engage them. The question becomes, “What aspect of my expertise is relevant to this person?”
In this scenario, we are still looking at ‘who’ is in front of us.
Say it’s a fish and you are a personal trainer. You would take a look at the tree, then to the fish and then lead your fish to the pond. The goal is physical fitness of some sort and you are not going to accomplish that with the fish in the tree. Even if you are a monkey and tree climbing is what first sparked your desire to be a personal trainer. Tree climbing is not pertinent to the fish.
Because it’s not so easy to sort the fish from the monkeys in the gym setting, that’s where the HealthTypes come in handy. Say your fish is a Guardian. You are not going to lead them to the newest, shiniest piece of equipment and tell them to have a play with it while you share the scientific studies that lead to its invention. (You will save that for your Crusader client.) You will toss some weight on the sled, ask about their family and walk beside them while they go for their first 20 yards.
Whether it’s nature vs nurture or pure relevance, the essence is the same.
Adherence leads to success. The biggest aspect of adherence is delivering the perfect amount of info in the perfect way at the perfect time. The only way to do this is to pull back from our desire to ‘teach to them’ and to instead engage their biology. Information that is naturally learned is joyful, bolsters self-worth and sparks self-determination. All of these lead to the lasting results we crave.
To learn more about the HealthTypes and how to apply precision methods and technology solutions to your service offering, join us for our Level 1 Course.