Personal trainers are all different and all of us have different ways of doing things.
The fundamental thing is that your client does things their way too, and he or she will have different needs and expectations aside from their exercise goals. If they need you to beast them, or stroke their ego or even say nothing then that is what they will respond well to.
If a client comes to you with a goal of losing 1-2 stone in 3 months having not done anything gym based beforehand then great, you have a blank canvas to work with. However if you adopt a one size fits all approach and you are not flexible then you may risk ruining that working relationship and the client will not achieve goals or worse, they may leave.
Consider the following:
How do they come across- are they willing to ask questions?
• Do they know anything about training?
• Do they care about the science?
• Why are they aiming to lose weight/get fit?
• What do they want from you? Support/motivation/flogging
• Are they nervous? If so what about?
These questions will help you build a picture of what your clients actually want from you as a trainer. Obviously your job is to help them lose weight or get stronger etc, but it is how you do it that determines the success of the client trainer relationship.
I have come unstuck a couple of times by assuming the way I do things is best, but actually the client didn't need me to deliver sessions the way I did. I re-evaluated the way I did things and broadened my approach to the sessions and the role I played in them which has worked wonders. The client has more control and is happier with how things are... This means the client is getting better results.
Don't get me wrong, I am not letting the client have an easy ride or sit on their backside for the hour session. I am pushing them to work harder keeping their heart rate high and effort level up etc. by giving them ownership of their goals and session objectives rather than me setting them which leads to resistance and demotivation.
Basically I am saying that the most important thing to do at the start of a clients program is to listen to them and read their emotions/body language. Be flexible and open to new ways of working.
You as the trainer are there to do what the client needs and wants, but also be clear that once the goals and program have been agreed it his your job to keep them in mind and the client working towards them.
I hope that's of some help and you enjoyed reading!