We all have that one friend or relative who asks for your advice about something and then doesn’t even attempt what you suggested.
This is part of a conversation I had today with a good friend of mine, who, in order to preserve his anonymity, I shall refer to as ThatGuy:
Margs: How’s training been going?
ThatGuy: Yeah good, been training with G and he’s got me doing these exercises to help my shoulder
Margs: External rotations…?
Margs: Just like I’ve been telling you to do for the last two years…?
ThatGuy: …..yeah….um….well, at least I’m doing them now….
I’ll admit, I took a deep breath. So frustrating to be asked for advice regarding something and have that advice completely disregarded. Even more frustrating to have that person follow the exact same advice given by another person.
But it is important to remember the concept of ‘readiness’.
People are ready to hear different information at different times, and sometimes even though they accept that what you are telling them is truthful, they are not yet ready to put that information into action.
Trainers are often asked for casual advice by friends and family. What do you think of *latest diet fad*, *latest exercise fad*? How should I *lose weight*, *tone up*, *fix my sore shoulder/knee/twinge in my flexor digitorum*? And honestly most people who ask us for this advice aren’t actually ready to follow it. They listen to what we say, nod, and then go and ask the next person they find what their opinion is.
People who are ready to follow our advice don’t stop with idly asking for our random thoughts over coffee. They engage our services, recognising the value in what we do, understanding that what we suggest is in their best interests. These people are ready to make change happen, will seek the knowledge they need to reach their goals, and will put that knowledge into action.
My friend ThatGuy wasn’t ready to do what he needed to do for his shoulder when he asked me about it. It took the passage of time, ongoing pain, and the interruption to his training for him to realise that it wasn’t just going to fix itself. It took time, and someone else to remind him of what to do before he was ready to actually do it.
And although I found it frustrating that if he had followed my advice when he first asked for it, it’s likely that his shoulder would have been fine by now, ThatGuy was right – at least he is doing it now.
Didn’t stop me from giving him an ‘I told you so’ though. After all, I’m only human.