Massage & Bodywork

MAY | JUNE 2021

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L i s te n to T h e A B M P Po d c a s t a t a b m p.co m /p o d c a s t s o r w h e reve r yo u a cce s s yo u r favo r i te p o d c a s t s 21 My favorite way to check my own decision-making is to ask myself, "If a colleague shared this situation with me, how would I advise them?" We are typically great at helping others maintain boundaries but less than firm with our own. FOR MORE LEARNING Catch Allissa and Michael on their weekly podcast, Massage Business Blueprint, available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and more. you said you were overbooked. Or their friend will tell them how happy they were to get an appointment with you right away. In a word-of-mouth type of business, your word must be trustworthy. These uncomfortable exchanges become easier with time and practice. Ultimately, you'll feel great about holding your boundaries and avoiding client relationships that drain you. WE OWE CLIENTS CONSISTENCY If I tell a client I do not work Monday mornings, but I frequently make an exception and they continue to request that time, it's on me. I created that situation. We owe our clients consistency in our decision-making and the realistic expectations they create around it. This applies to scheduling, discounts we may give certain clients, and what we tolerate in the massage room. If you've found yourself repeatedly uncomfortable in a situation, it may be time to regroup and craft a new policy to create more consistency moving forward. WE OWE CLIENTS ETHICAL BEHAVIOR EVEN WHEN A CLIENT DOESN'T DISPLAY ETHICAL BEHAVIOR If a client makes inappropriate jokes during a session, even after I have kindly and clearly asked them to stop, I am still responsible for maintaining my own ethical behavior. I am responsible for maintaining my professionalism as I end the session—and inform them I will not be scheduling them again. Their behavior does not give me justification for getting angry or calling them a perv or a creep—to their face or otherwise. If a client repeatedly arrives late or no-shows, I am still obligated to maintain confidentiality around that when their spouse asks how their massage went. We do not owe anyone our happiness or space in our brain. We do not need to worry about a client who does not want to do their self-care stretches. We do not owe a client results if they continue the behavior that harms their body (or mind). It is our job and obligation to treat that client at the time we agreed on for the price we agreed while they're in the office. It is not our responsibility to worry about them outside of that. HOW DO WE MAKE THESE DECISIONS? I've found it often helps to take a situation and apply it to a nonmassage business. Would I open my coffee shop an hour early on a random Tuesday because one single customer has an early meeting that day and really needs their fancy caramel macchiato? Nope, that's ridiculous. My favorite way to check my own decision-making is to ask myself, "If a colleague shared this situation with me, how would I advise them?" We are typically great at helping others maintain boundaries but less than firm with our own. This exercise can add some much-needed perspective and result in better decisions. All of our decisions around client relationships help us build healthy, sustainable careers. Considering and regularly reconsidering how you serve your clients is a helpful way to be sure your massage business continues to serve you too. Allissa Haines and Michael Reynolds are found at massagebusinessblueprint.com, a member-based community designed to help you attract more clients, make more money, and improve your quality of life.

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