Listen More, Talk Less

Many times we, as professional health counselors, are eager to teach. We all gain specialties as we continue on in our career and it is exciting when we see that what we do does make a difference. It is natural to want to get the word out.

In our eagerness, many of us want to teach others about ourselves and our work. And this is a good thing – for, aside from referrals, how does anyone know what you are good at unless you tell them? If you haven’t been around long enough to gain a significant portion of your business from referrals, you must tell others what you do.

But don’t let this interfere with your most important tool of learning that you will use the rest of your career – listening. It sounds a lot easier than it is.

Listening to your client means hearing what she or he is saying without making judgments in your head about how you will respond. This mistake could cause you to not hear the entire story or may cause you to miss or not ask about important details that you could use to help your client.

Oftentimes a client will come in feeling awful, claiming the road to health is too long, she/he cannot eat anything and how do you know it’s working, anyway? At this point, don’t try to talk them into staying on your program. Calmly ask questions, listen for the answers and let the client talk it out.

If the client is in for a massage, lymphatic drainage or colonic, they will often feel much better afterward and thank you for listening. Talking is therapeutic part of the healing process. We can usually work out problems just by voicing them. Your part of listening will be crucial for the client during these times.

I have had clients who complained about the healing process for 40 minutes straight during a session. Then, afterward, the toxins are moving (or have moved out), the body is open and flowing and the problems go along with it. Then I am thanked for having done such a good job – when all I did was guide the talk with questions and listen.

Listening works well with our professional connections as well. Networking with other health professionals may be a good way to get referrals. Knowing this, we often want to talk about ourselves and our services to let others know how much we can help!

This can turn other professionals off. It may leave others feeling you are self indulgent and over confident. Instead, just listen and learn.

Listen to what other health professionals do in their work. Then figure out how your work fits in with theirs and how you might best fit with their program.

For example; if you are a massage therapist, listen to what the colon therapist does. She might say that her clients are mainly athletes. You can then explain how massage is important for the athlete’s recovery from training while assisting the colonic/cleansing process. If her clients are mainly those trying to recover health, you could inform her how massage can help the healing process. This will gain you more referrals from other professionals without being threatening.

Another benefit of listening to other professionals is to gain knowledge about what is missing in their services. Perhaps there is more of a need for massage therapists who specialize in pregnancy massage or those who specialize in clients with arthritis. Find the need, train yourself and fill that need. This is a basic premise of any business.

Good Luck and Much Success to you all. Please keep in mind that my book will be released soon to newsletter readers at a discounted price. (See the last issue of my newsletter to learn more!)

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