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Bodywork Buddy Blog

Bodywork Buddy: business management software for the solo therapist that keeps you organized and makes tax time a breeze.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Power of Attitude

I was recently reading a blog post from the Center for Barefoot Massage on 10 Ridiculously Easy Ways to be More Successful.

#6 Stood out to me. 

Attitude-is your massage client taking advantage of a sale? Don’t act resentful about it or transfer any negative feelings towards them subconsciously. Instead, be grateful that they are choosing to spend money on YOUR massage. I’ve heard of many clients having bad experiences with Groupon massages because their therapist didn’t care, didn’t keep them in the whole time, or were just not the most pleasant.

This is something I always try to be aware of in my own attitude and actions. One thing that I've gotten good at over time is to not take any feedback personally and to be open to it so that I can improve my client's experience while they're on my table. I even tell first-time clients to feel free to let me know if there is anything I can adjust to make them more comfortable (pressure, music, temperature) and I specifically say "You're not going to hurt my feelings, this session is all about you - I just want you to have the best experience". I have literally seen some clients instantly breathe a sigh of relief when they hear this.

A friend once told me that her MT talked through her whole massage. After several sessions of this - the client mentioned that maybe they could chat before the session so that she could relax more during her massage. The next session she received was rough and painful, as if the MT was purposely trying to hurt her.  

Now, maybe the MT has no time to chat before or after a session and was upset at the client for suggesting that. But that doesn't really matter - the client was letting her know what her needs were, and the MT chose to let her feelings about that feedback get in the way of giving a good massage. Or maybe it wasn't a conscious decision... yikes, I'm not sure which is worse.

With a positive approach you will feel in control and confident and you will perform at your best, whereas a negative approach will damage confidence, harm performance, paralyze your mental skills and may also impact your health. - The Importance of Attitude for Business Success

Of course, we all have bad days. What are some ways that you get into your zone to be at your best for your clients? One thing that I like to do is to get to my office early before I start my work day. I diffuse some essential oils and play some fun music while I fold my linens. It helps me to get in the right mindset for my work and clearly separate my personal life and whatever may be happening in the outside world from the oasis I'm creating for my clients. I find if I'm rushing around and only at my office for a couple of minutes before my first client, I'm frazzled and have a hard time focusing the rest of the day. (I know other therapists who have no problem doing this, I'm just not one of them!) I know that for myself, this little ritual of arriving early helps to prepare my mind and my attitude for my work day.

We've probably all experienced the subtle or not-so-subtle energy of a therapist with a bad attitude. Even if the technical aspects of their massage were "good", it probably wasn't the best massage you've had. Being aware of and adjusting our own attitude is one of the simplest ways we can improve our business and offer our clients our best work.

Cindy Iwlew is a licensed massage therapist who has had a private practice since 1999 and cofounder of Bodywork Buddy massage software.

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