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  1. #1
    Registered User ChristineMorgan's Avatar
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    Advice, stories, tips on working with an older German client?

    I've only very recently starting training formally. This client is actually my first paying and official client. My boss told me he was looking for company just as much as he was looking for training which is why he would be a perfect first for me… the only problem is that he is just a tiny bit hard of hearing and his first language is German.

    He's somewhat difficult to communicate with, though I know he has a sense of humor and is a sweet guy who really wants to learn. I'm just as much of a people person as I am a trainer, so having only half of that makes it hard to work with him. I've only had an orientation/starter session with him so far, so any tips, stories, comments whatever would be appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Registered User SFT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ChristineMorgan View Post
    I've only very recently starting training formally. This client is actually my first paying and official client. My boss told me he was looking for company just as much as he was looking for training which is why he would be a perfect first for me… the only problem is that he is just a tiny bit hard of hearing and his first language is German.

    He's somewhat difficult to communicate with, though I know he has a sense of humor and is a sweet guy who really wants to learn. I'm just as much of a people person as I am a trainer, so having only half of that makes it hard to work with him. I've only had an orientation/starter session with him so far, so any tips, stories, comments whatever would be appreciated.
    I've worked in an inpatient therapy hospital for the last year and it desensitizes you to things that you otherwise would have thought were rude/inappropriate - touching butts, yelling in people's ears (who are hard of hearing), or just speaking excessively loud in general.

    I would suggest that you use very, very simple English words to start. Even if it wouldn't be the way that you would say it to a native English speak, it might make it easier on him if the vocabulary is limited. I would speak slow, clear, and loud. I've had older patients that I had to speak into their ear - as in 6 inches from their ear. I doubt he is quite at that level, but I'd get close to him and if possible, move to a quieter part of the gym.
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  3. #3
    Registered User PeteratCastle's Avatar
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    Have him march a lot, Germans love to march.

    j/k


    SFT is right, just be a bit louder, exaggerate your movements and touch him more than you would clients who can easily hear/understand you.
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    Communication with a client is extremely important.
    Make sure it doesn't become an issue.
    Use as few words as you can to get your point across.
    Keep it real simple and demonstrating exercises yourself is a great form of non verbal communication.
    Learning a few simple words in German that have something to do with training him would be nice.
    Give it some time and you will build a good client/trainer relationship.
    It's also harder at first until you know your clients mindset,goals ,limitations ect.
    Good luck.
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  5. #5
    Registered User ChessGuy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Garage Rat View Post
    Communication with a client is extremely important.
    Make sure it doesn't become an issue.
    Use as few words as you can to get your point across.
    Keep it real simple and demonstrating exercises yourself is a great form of non verbal communication.
    Learning a few simple words in German that have something to do with training him would be nice.
    Give it some time and you will build a good client/trainer relationship.
    It's also harder at first until you know your clients mindset,goals ,limitations ect.
    Good luck.
    You nailed it!
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  6. #6
    Registered User sonti's Avatar
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    Slow, clear instructions. I live in an area where English is a second language, and I always appreciate it when people can just speak slow and clear for me, keep in mind formal English vs slang English, this is very hard for those of us trying to understand in our 2nd language. Make sure he is looking at you directly when you speak, if he is hard of hearing.
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