You know, there are all sorts of people who come in through my studio door for Spinning® classes, just like I?m sure come through yours. Recently, I met two new clients who seem really similar to each other, though they have never met. What makes them similar, in my mind, is they really give off this sort of energy, which lets me know that all they want from me is to be acknowledged and ignored. Have you ever met clients like this?
Both clients are new to my studio and to Spinning® as a whole, but despite this one similarity, in many ways they are polar opposites. He is a runner. He is athletic and competitive. He has a frustrating injury so is taking time off from running and treating his heart to Spinning®. I get the feeling he would just as soon not be there, hasn?t been privy to much coaching, but is hard-core. A sort of a ?just get on the road and run? kind of guy, he just gets down to it and has somehow put up this invisible wall so I don?t feel like he is very approachable. But, hey?he keeps coming back, so I won?t take it personally.
She, on the other hand seems mortified by her own body. In speaking with her, it seems as if she was thin and fit for her whole childhood and teen years, but somehow, mysteriously, magically woke up fat one day. She seems shy, embarrassed and reluctant to chat with anyone in the class, but me?at the end?after everyone else has left?and she keeps coming back, so? I know she?s getting something out of it.
As a person who is probably off the scales of emotional intelligence (if not a little humble, eh hem...), I consider myself intuitive and clued in and I like to engage people ? playfully and respectfully in class, so I have found it such a wonderful challenge to ?A&I? these two clients. Acknowledge and Ignore, that?s what I call it.
It?s called ?giving space.? Okay, it doesn?t really have a name but I like to challenge the notion that you ?can?t be everything to everyone.? The key is to remember that when you?re ?on? as the professional that you are, you have to drop a little of the notion that you need something from you clients ? Do you really NEED them to whoop and holler? Do you have to hear how great your music is from everyone all the time? Do you need smiles on their faces, or better yet, the look of agony? Or can you just let them be? Look after their safety, their form, and all that without demanding feedback?
It would be different if they were actively negative or disruptive or real downers, but they're not. They're polite and simply try to fly under the radar screen...and, you know...I think I totally empathize with both of them.
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