Ask the Expert – Erin Desharnais – November


Q: What’s your number one tip for becoming a successful fitness professional?

A: The number one reason I have been lucky enough to have a fulfilling (and busy) career as a fitness professional is because I am fluent in being personable. I remember people’s names and something about them such as what sport they play, how many kids they have, or the name of their spouse to name a few.

In Dale Carnegie’s classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, he states the following: “Remember that a person’s name is to that a person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. Remember that name and call it easily, and you have paid a subtle and very effective compliment. But forget it, or misspell it, and you have placed yourself at a sharp disadvantage.”


Take a minute to think about a time when someone called you by the wrong name or kept asking your name. I bet the negative impact on you was huge. Now, think how good it feels when someone remembers and uses your name! You feel that your important to them and that they care about you as a person.

If you really want to connect with people, remember their names and something about them. The ripple effect of being fluent in being personable is massive. It enables me to give encouragement and feedback that’s specific to my clients as well as earn their trust. In turn, they’re willing to work harder since they know I care about them and their goals, and that leads to better results.

The key is being able to balance hard work, determination, passion, and fun, all with a personable approach. This is always a work in progress but, in my opinion, connecting with people is an invaluable asset and critical to a successful career as a fitness professional.

A Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and TPI fitness professional, Erin Desharnais also holds a B.S. in Exercise Science from the University of New Hampshire.

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