“How important is listening in your field of work?” This was one of the first questions I had asked when I began my interview with Mike, a personal trainer. He immediately answered, “all I do is listen.” I did not find his answer surprising for many reasons. One of the reasons is because listening is a human necessity and is used in everyday life. It is applied to all professions out there. Another reason I did not find his answer surprising is because personal trainers have to pay attention and listen to what their clients are saying. Especially when they talk about the possible prior injuries they may have had that may prevent them from performing certain exercises.
However, what I did find surprising was when Mike said he uses a lot of therapeutic listening in his work. I did not quite understand what he meant by that. He went on to explain that he has to listen to what is going on in the lives of his clients. Mike said this was a way to get closer with a client. He mentioned this was kind of a business tactic and went on to say that keeping clients is much more difficult than finding clients. In order to keep his clients coming back he has to become friends with them and learn more about their personal lives. He said this was also largely due to the fact that majority of his clients are between the age of 50 and 75. His clients don’t have many people to vent out to in their lives so they vent to him. He is totally fine with it because it is part of his job and part life.
There were a few challenges/barriers when conducting the interview. One of them was the commotion going on in the background. The interview took place at the gym he works at, so there were still some people working out in the background. Another challenge was to keep the interview going longer. He was not prepared for the questions I had for him and that is the reason he was giving in depth answers to only a few of my questions. We discussed many topics other topics as well such as the supplement industry and nutrition. He went on about the common misconception about supplements and how a lot of people rely only on supplements. He said people need to listen and understand the word “supplement” because they should be used to supplement you when you are not able to put together an actual meal. Mike was surprised and also intrigued about our class when I told him about it. In his opinion, listening is the most important tool in communication. Overall I enjoyed and learned a lot from this interview.