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Trainers, Need Insight Please

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Old 04-09-2008, 08:13 PM   #1
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Default Trainers, Need Insight Please

Since y'all are in the biz, what would you advise?

I know PR and I know how to spin things, but this is tough--my old trainer wants all of us to write a testimonial, provide before and after pictures, etc. based on the recent Challenge. At first he sought feedback and I thought about offering constructive criticism, but then he hinted "be kind." Well, I'm not feeling so kind. The further I get away from it the more I realize, he screwed up with me.

Yes, he was great. FOr the 9 months I trained with him 6 months were good. Then things changed.

Guys, this Challenge was NOT a good experience for me (and had he done things differently, it could have been). In addition to the absolutely childish drama I had to deal with from him and two teammates, I had to create my own level of challenge (outside things), seek support elsewhere, and add to that gym management made the program lack communication and organization. Frankly, as a former teacher, I'd give it a C+ and that's being generous.

I figure I'll not think about it for a few days and not write it while I'm feeling any negativity, but frankly, the more I work with my new trainer, the more I get what I need (stuff my old trainer made me feel bad for wanting). I'm starting to realize it was him and not me, that that stuff I wanted was totally appropriate and necessary. Yes, I still got a workout, yes, I still lost weight and got fitter. I just know it could have been something more. I see how she really gets "customer service" part of the training relationship and that he didn't. (I'm loving working with her--I'm feeling challenged, connected, and protected.)

I'm struggling with this. I want to say, FU, not gonna write it, but if I don't, it just perpetuates the drama with him. You can ask how--well, when I see him now, he clearly holds something against me, whereas I have tried to put the past in the past and just move forward. I try to act with dignity and just be pleasant. If I can find something positive to say, it can feed at least some level with him so that things at least get more comfortable one day. And since I'm not leaving the gym, I will still see him. People Pleaser Me likes things to be cool with people--no drama....
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:08 PM   #2
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If he wants testimonials and you feel you did not have a good challenge, I just wouldn't bother writing anything at all. It's voluntary - so don't feel obligated to do it.
He must not feel that bad about you if he asked you to do it.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:17 PM   #3
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I wouldn't do it. I could not, in good conscience, write something that I didn't believe. No matter what he thinks, you felt that you were treated very poorly and unprofessionally on a regular basis. How can you reward that behaviour with any sort of praise? I would never write something negative to try to cause trouble but I would also absolutely not write a recommendation or positive review or whatever you want to call it. JMI.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:22 PM   #4
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FYI, he asked all of us to per his VP. I wasn't singled out.

"How can you reward that behaviour with any sort of praise? " That's how I feel. But I can find the nuggets that were good and state them...I think. Then again, I spent 17 years in PR...so I'm used to trying to do this....
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:43 PM   #5
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I would not write anything at all. If he asks you why not, tell him the truth, that you felt his level of service was below par, but that you didnt feel the need to write a negative review. You prefer to just let it go.

If he pushes you or gets nasty about it, write a full and honest review that gets submitted to his boss.

If you spin something positive that you dont believe, you are only hurting the clients he gets in the future on the basis of your testimonial.
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Old 04-10-2008, 07:32 AM   #6
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Exactly what ennay said.
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zinkemomx2 View Post
Exactly what ennay said.
Me too
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Old 04-11-2008, 04:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilene View Post
Me too
And me! You say you are a people pleaser, so try to think about it this way. You will be doing a disservice to his potential future clients if you recommend him when you don't think he did a good job. People are going to hire him based on your recommendation. You're probably going to see those people around the gym. They're probably going to recognize you, since he wants you to include pics with your testimonial. How are you going to feel when you see them?

I'm also a people pleaser and so non-confrontational I've decided I need to see a therapist about it. So, if I were in your shoes, I'd just ignore the request unless he asks about it again. This has the added advantage of not prolonging your contact with him; you can just ignore him when you see him in the gym. If he does ask about it, I might tell him what ennay said. But it's more likely that I'd just say I forgot about it and promise to do it soon. Then I'd just keep "forgetting" until he gives up, forgets about it, or goes to work for another gym. That way, you haven't actually turned him down, it's just that you are sooooo busy... Usually when people ask for something like this, they are asking a lot of people (which you know is the case here) and don't expect everyone to come through for them.
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:47 AM   #9
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I agree 100% with barbara

I am also a people pleaser, and in this case I would just avoid the issue. Unless the guy asks you one-on-one, in person, just do not mention it.

maybe you can handle this easier if you turn it around and put the ball in his court: If he had treated you decently you would have done this with pleasure. Is there anything that he can do to make it up to you? Then next time, if he asks, says you will do it if he evens out the score first. let's be realisitic here, you paid for his services, and you were not satified, and he knows this.
If he was in your position, would you expect him to give you a good testimonial without some other effort on your side first ?

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Old 04-12-2008, 10:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyGirl69 View Post
At first he sought feedback and I thought about offering constructive criticism, but then he hinted "be kind."

Who says you can't give constructive criticism and 'be kind' at the same time? The guy is a personal trainer -- a teacher . You're paying him to teach you what he knows. If he fails to do this to your satisfaction, then you have every right to let him know. If he can't take constructive criticism and learn from it that's his problem, not yours. Do you want him going around short-changing others just because he wants to hear 'nice things only'? And what does that say about him? Does he realize that he falls short on his abilities to teach people but his ego just doesn't want to deal? Why is it ok for him to get what he wants (sounds like he wants 'yes men' only) but you have to stifle how you felt he treated you? He wants a testimonial but only if it's positive? To me that's says an awful lot about the guy.

While you're still ticked at him, make a list of what you disliked about his methods, treatment, style, his lack of 'people management' -- whatever. Don't worry about how it sounds you can fix it later; just get it down in writing. You said that for 6 months all was fine -- well, make a list of what was good too. Let it sit for a few days while you cool off and get some perspective then go back and read it. Tweak away but leave in both the negative and the positive. Constructive criticism doesn't have to be presented in a harsh, unkind light but make it what it is -- constructive. He can do what he wants with the information you give him, that's his choice, but you will feel much better getting it off your mind and letting him know how you felt his performance as a trainer was for you.

I realize you are going to see this guy when you are in the gym. Be nice to him, smile, ask how's it going -- treat him just as you would anyone else and go about your business. At least, that's what I'd do. Good luck!


*disclaimer -- I'm not a trainer nor do I play one on TV. Just your average joe offering some advice!
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