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Your Client Failed to Get a Result Because You Failed to Clean Your Desk

By Melinda Perkins – That’s outrageous, you think.
But what if it’s true?

Here’s what we know about the human animal. We are big bags of tissues, swirling with chemicals and zinging with electrical signals. Not one bag is the same.
As a health professional, you may be focused on one set of tissues and maybe a few of the chemicals or electrical signals. Yet, the entire bag walked into your office as an inextricable set with genetically crafted tissues, dominant chemicals, and specified electrical signals.

Your office, gym or building is the petri dish in which that set will either thrive or flail. That means the environment you establish for each client will either drive your desired result or hinder it.


Back to your desk.

That stack of files off to the left may be in carbon-dated order, the six pens you love to use are all within easy reach, sprinkled around your array of brightly colored notepads and if you put even one of those pairs of glasses away you’d never be able to find any of them again.

That’s great if your next client will come in, pick up each of your family pictures and peruse it as they listen intently to you set the scene for each one. It’s fatal if your next client can barely lift their eyes from the turmoil of that flat surface while their mind desperately tries to make order from your chaos.

It’s not about judgment. It’s about individual biology and what it needs to feel safe.
Safety is where the body can relax, the mind can open and change can begin to stir.

And the tidiness of your desk is just the beginning.

Temperature, noise, (even the pitch of your voice), activity and atmosphere all come into play. The more of these biological boxes you can check off, the less energy your client expends fighting their environment, leaving more energy to focus on the specific protocols that will bring them results.


How do you know what your next client needs to feel safe?

Because it’s inherent in their biology and psychology, it is evident in the mannerisms that underpin their personality.

Let’s look at how this plays out.

We’ll start with your clients who have an easy smile, ready laugh and happily adapt to whatever you toss their way. Think party. To their biology, chaos is exciting, so thumping music, extraneous chatter, and plenty of action will bring them comfort. A busy park with lots of sunshine is their ideal space. Variety, connection and fun is their safe zone.

Then you have those clients who always bring a list of questions from their own research and hungrily gobble down every bit of information you extol. Once you satisfy their need to know, they follow your guidelines to a T. These people are highly sensitive to their surroundings, so dialing things down makes them feel safe. They do best if you adjust the thermostat to tropical, close the door to control any activity or noise that might leak in and yes, organize the chaos on your desk.

Of course, there are the ones who take ages to onboard, meeting you several times, gathering tidbits of knowledge like squirrels forage for acorns in the fall. They carefully consider every angle, all the needs of everyone around them and then, when all of the pieces of the puzzle fit, they become your client. To them, comfort is safety. This comfort comes from having the space and time to thoroughly explore. Like a long walk through the forest, they do best in a fresh, natural environment where there is room for their minds to expand. Set the temp to cool, turn on some nature sounds and settle in.

On the flip-side, there are those on a mission. They come with a set of firm ideas, always want more data and proof, but will charge through to the end if everything lines up. These people can cut through the chaos with their laser focus, but they will thrive on the respect of a door closed against distractions, the forethought of a clear, organized space and a Goldilocks climate that doesn’t distract from the goal. Logic, order and purpose equal safety to this person.

You may have some clients who rush in the door ready to go. They get itchy if conversation lasts past a quick hello. Action is where they find safety. Think of a friendly court side warm up. Loosely guided, chatty, with plenty of room for flowing movement and copious team spirit. Nothing too quiet, too structured or too cold.

Then there are those who volunteer everywhere, field phone calls from family and friends even during your sessions and always want to know about your life. These are the clients who will pick up every picture on your desk and want to hear the back story. Let them. Safety, for them, is in family ties (and you become part of the family). Adopt an open door policy; think living room chat. Turn back the thermostat, offer comfy places to sit (in case they bring loved ones) and leave plenty of time for side conversations and interruptions.

Clients are a complex mix of biological and psychological factors. The more you understand about the entire set of characteristics that make up the next person that walks through your door, the more effective your particular prescriptions and methods will be.


So, will your client fail to get a result if you don’t clean your desk?

But the bigger message here is that if you set up your petri dish to meet the needs of each client, you remove unnecessary stressors and promote the feeling of safety. A more relaxed client has more energy to focus on implementing your protocols to achieve their desired outcome.

If you are interested in getting more precise with every aspect of your client’s needs,  Find out more here.

2 thoughts on “Your Client Failed to Get a Result Because You Failed to Clean Your Desk”

  1. Lenore Davi November 1, 2023

    Love it!
    Yes it is true as a Sensor, I have made decisions about my choice of health providers in the past based on whether the session felt private, how many interruptions there were during my session, having other people in the room, or just outside an open door, music or tv in the background, pets barking or running about, eating during appointments, how clean or tidy the space was, and even how many times the practitioner/coach swore…. and the biggest turn off…. answering my questions with “You don’t need to know that”, or any other way of suggesting that my curiosity and love of learning was unwelcome. Now that many of us have virtual sessions instead of face to face, some other things to keep in mind include choosing good lighting so the client can see your face clearly, choosing a suitable background: Formal or fun? Colorful or dignified? etc… and paying some attention to sound. An echoing room such as a kitchen might make your voice sound cold and flat, or less warm and approachable. Knowing before hand what bio-type your client is, and adjusting your approach will definitely give you an extra advantage! With Bio-type knowledge, we can minimize stress for each client and maximize connection, learning, and motivation.

    • Melinda Perkins November 2, 2023

      Absolutely, Lenore! So well articulated! Thank you for sharing your incredible Sensor insight. I love the mention of the language we use. That’s a super important part of our overall client-practitioner relationship. Saying the right things in the right way so we are heard and understood is so nuanced. With the HealthType lens, we have the edge when it comes to getting it right, even with swearing or keeping it professional.
      Eating is another great point. As an Activator, it’s hard to get all those little snacks in…and for some clients it’s not a big deal to munch and crunch, but for others, it’s the difference between continuing the relationship and not!
      I also appreciate that you expanded the conversation to include virtual meetings and how the elements of our environment extend into that. We can ‘set the stage’ in our virtual world to create the feeling of safety that each client biologically needs, just as effectively as we can in a physical office.
      I love this discussion. It’s so vital to keeping our clients progressing toward their desired outcomes. Thank you for bringing your depth of knowledge and experience to the table.

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