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Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness
Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness

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5 How would you react?

In this activity, you will consider how you might react to the situation using one aspect of the person-centred approach.

Activity 4 Being non-judgemental

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

Jack, a physical activity worker is chatting with Norma, a shy and overweight newcomer who has just joined his group. Norma reveals that she eats six packets of crisps a day. Jack is quite shocked by this.

Consider how you would react to such information in your own sport or fitness environment if a newcomer made such a revelation. What might be an appropriate response?


A non-judgemental response may be ‘OK, so when during the day do you eat crisps?’, while a judgemental response may be ‘Six packets!’, said with a shocked facial expression. To respond to Norma in a non-judgemental manner is likely to build trust and encourage her to feel confident about revealing more information to Jack.

Perhaps as well as being non-judgemental, an element of empathy is useful in trying to understand and reflect back what you have heard in order to make the other person feel understood. These and other skills will be explored when you consider active listening in the next section.