Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Recently a favorite online Pilates magazine I subscribe to posted a fantastic article on building successful client/instructor relationships. I was so struck by the article that I posted a reply based on my own experience as a pilates student now instructor..
I'd like to share the article with you, and my reply. Enjoy!
Here is my reply to the article:
I couldn't agree more with this article Devra!
Well written. With the economy "souring" so to speak, I have not experienced any of this at my studio.
In fact, business continues to porsper and grow for me and I can directly attribute it to many of the pointers you succinctly pointed out in the article.
Pilates and all mind/body practice is built on a foundation of creating successful client/instructor relationships. When you invest time into your clients personal needs, their pilates practice increases in value in all areas of their lives (mind, body and spirit).
Taking time to know your clients, their needs, encouraging growth make it easy for clients to justify the cost of classes and private instruction because it is aiding in keeping the student healty and whole.
I think back to my first days as a pilates student prior to becoming an instructor. My first mat class was an absolute horror. I could not do anything right, and was verbally reminded of this repetition after repetition in front of a group of experienced students. I felt ridiculed, and almost ashamed to be honest, yet something kept me on my mat and moving as best as possible. The instructor was unable to help me stay positive, made me feel stupid for being unable to produce the finished product, and could not/did not show me how to modify or change the movement to help me be successful. Why did I stay?
Although I can never answer this question, I'm grateful. Something within me realized that pilates was life changing. I was able to tune out this negative instructor, his lack of care, and focus on myself and my progress. I never went back to this instructor, but my pilates journey began.
Even though it was a bad experience emotionally, I still came away with a sense of physical change and was able to acknowledge that there was something extrordinary about pilates. It made me investigage further, take more classes, work on my mind/body technique and eventually become an instructor.
What I learned from that terrible session was what not to do with a client. My bad experience has made be a better instructor, and very aware that the client/instructor relationship is first and foremost about the process of change and what I can do to facilitate growth and success for my client.
Thank you for posting such an encouraging article and for the opportunity to post a reply.
Peace and health,