Viewing entries tagged
counselling

Client Objections : How to overcome them....

We have all been there...some one tells us we need to change something in our lives,but whats the common reaction...generally its some form of  resistance.Who likes change .... even people in desperate need begging for help offer resistance . There are always " objections " despite or regardless of the advice... " I can't do that X because of X , Y and Z" ( there are often multiple reasons boosting the credibility of the can't do reasons) Many of the objections are on paper illogical and are often a knee jerk reaction on just being asked to change or there are deeper anxieties over a bigger picture. So how do you manage these objections? How easy is it to change a mindset from one thats closed and negative to one thats open and positive to change.I find often clients are focused on what " they can't do" rather than what they can.... Once a client has made up their mind that their case is impossible the brian shuts down and accepts the failure. The solution may seem easy on the outside ( set a timer on your phone to buzz every hour to remind yourself to drink some water) but sometimes they can't see how to solve their own problem. Hence the coach may need to reframe the situation.

There are 3 compenents  to re framing. 1. Acknowledge the client concerns without being dismissive. To the client the concerns are real even if they might not seem so to the practioner. 2 Move away from negative obstacles towards what the client can do, build up the current good ! 3. Get client participation to solve perceived problems.

It may help to reframe objections by asking what sort of conditions would have to be in place to over come the obstacle that the client is presenting.Moving from acknowledging  of the situation but at the same time looking for solutions . A list of " what if " scenarios can help open up a clients mind to possibilities.If you start to think you can then maybe you can.

Having recognized responses to change objections can all so be helpful.Many of the objections have a common theme and are heard by a coach multiple times, you can re assure them that they are not alone in their quest  and can put the client at ease with a simple quick solution ...if some one has time issues its easy to work on providing solutions, if they have reluctance to give up a foodstuff ( and its funny how many people tell me " I am not giving up X before it has even come up in conversation) let them know that they don't have to and their actually not even being asked to.

Ref :Berardi / Adams " Essentials of Sport Nutrition"

Compliance...why can't people just do it?

This is one of my favourite topics. I talk over the " compliance " issue more than any other subject and with a massive wide variety of people. For me its one of the hardest factors to "make sense" of, because really in black and white terms failure to do something that has been suggested to you as health beneficial is only going to cause your problems later down the line. Its sad in a way and frustrating for both client and trainer and I still have trouble understanding the root of this issue. I heard a recent story about a recovering heart attack patient who was not taking his prescribed medication because he didn't like pills,  compliance here was a potential  life and death issue  .I  guess people are so complex there is no one particular reason why this situation existed. Maybe he just didn't see the benefit, to most it appears black and white, take the pill, live, don't take the pill , potentially die.

However, there is growing consensus among researchers that the behavior of the health care provider has a significant influence on patient adherence. Specifically, the health care professional’s ability to communicate and explain information while expressing warmth and concern for the patient appears to be associated with increasing patient adherence. Which from a personal training perspective makes the job just that little bit harder. Some people just don't see the benefit of " extra " anything  or indeed " less " of something , getting them to even go to bed 30 mins earlier is like asking them to amputate an arm...we have become so stuck in out habits that all change however small is resisted. However small amounts of change can bring big returns.

 

WE TALK ABOUT IT A LOT

But on a more individual level I have clients that ask me for " 5 Minute " programmes of exercises they can do daily, how often do they follow through and do it, sadly almost never. I discuss these issues with a Lifestyle Coach and to sum up our joint  thoughts would translate to something like this..instead of me (trainer ) telling you WHAT to do, but that both the trainer and the client should work together to come up with a compliancey solution. Instead of being told what to do we need to find or create new thought patterns,or habits, in affect we have 2 people working on one problem, not one telling the other what to do !

We discuss sleep and mainly the lack  there of. I can find any client 100 articles promoting the benefits of sleep, I can send these articles to my clients..I can find no research ( haven't really looked ) promoting a lack of sleep and its benefits. However, people may still not see the value in sleep and you then may have to look for the reasons... " why" .. ." Why do you not value sleep"? Its the a matter of understanding the clients sleep beliefs and the disregard for it may come from elsewhere in that persons life and history.

It appears that what people value most they do most, when it becomes the most important thing to that person they may end up complying. From a  trainers standpoint we want everyone to comply with what we suggest and if that persons belief system is different to ours  then we have difficulty in understanding why people do what they do. Perhaps the best way forward is to simply say " what can I do today thats going to help me towards my goals?" Do something, small , simple and achievable...

One thought that goes through my head is we just don't love ourselves enough , then I found this quote which sums it all up

"You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of our love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." – Buddha

SOME INFO FROM THE UK.

I found the following information on Wikipedia to give you some idea of the problem health care faces in the UK
  • up to 90% of diabetes patients do not take their medication well enough to benefit from that medication
  • 33-50% of some cancer patients take less of their anti-cancer medicine than required.
  • only 75% of coronary heart disease (CHD) patients take sufficient medicine for it to be effective.
  • Up to 75% of hypertensive patients do not adhere to their medicine.
  • 41-59% of mentally ill patients take their medication infrequently or not at all.
  • 33% of patients with schizophrenia don’t take their medicine at all, and 33% are poorly adherent.
  • Less than 27% depressed patients adhere to their medication

In the UK, the societal impact of such high levels of non-compliance is significant:

  • 110,000 people per year die prematurely from coronary heart disease that is largely preventable. Death rates are three times higher in manual workers than among managers.
  • If CHD patients adhered to their medication, each year 40,000 – 50,000 fewer people would have a stroke and 25,000 would not have a heart attack.
  • 25% of cancer patients have to cut back on food shopping to cover the extra costs of cancer.
  • 70% of patients with advanced cancer suffer with pain, very often in conjunction with other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and confusion, amongst other symptoms.
  • 1,400 people die from asthma attacks each year, 90% of which are avoidable

The most common causes for lack of adherence appear  to be aging, lack of education, lack of information about the benefits ( of taking the prescribed medicine) and on, I also read that between 20 and 30 % of prescriptions in the US go unfilled.

From " Why " to " What Can I Do?" Lets do some positive....

I must admit I have been reading a lot recently, soon I will publish a reading list to help guide people out there who may be interested in helping themselves along the road to change...the most recent book I have enjoyed is The Weight Loss Prescription by Ali Zentner MD, its written so that anyone can learn from it. No its not a diet book. One of her most interesting sub chapters  is called " Stop Asking Why".It starts with the line" we are creatures of habit" , that got me thinking . With a client you can notice " habit " behaviours really quickly...ranging from cancelling often to bringing me in a treat...everyone has a set routine that they live by.Good or bad! However many clients are seeing a trainer because they want something to change, often they know that if behaviour changes the so does outcome. Getting someone to change behaviours is hard especially  when , for example , as a trainer you are well versed in exercise and maybe not so much in counselling.

Zentner continues to discuss why people do things? And concludes if asked people answer by saying " I just do" and that there are no answers to " why " questions . A common misconception she explains is that in to modify behaviour that you must figure out why you do what you do in order to fix it..but suggests that " we often discover the cause by finding the cure" . I thought that made perfect sense.If if you do find out why you do something, maybe through counselling, then she believes that people are conditioned to think that " I know the why.. now I can fix it" Countless times I have seen that thought process fail because people dwell on the " why" and get stuck when they should be doing something differently.When you find the " why " you need to take action.

For example: " Why don't I eat Better?"... "What can I do to eat better?"

" Why don't I exercise more?"....." What can I do to exercise more?"

The " what " is your way forward!! A place to start.Its great to know why but unless behaviour changes nothing happens.You can learn more from loosing weight than by talking about it!. Our behaviour is a reflection of who we are and how we think. Taking action can prompt our inspiration and our thoughts which in turn continues to promote our actions. And so on in a beneficial spiral.Actions are a powerful tool to reshaping how we think.

In future trade in the question " why am I unhealthy right now?" to " what can I do today to be healthier tomorrow" Ask the right question and reap the reward.

Its a great book ... go read it.