Your first reaction might be that there is no such thing as too ethical. What does that even mean? Can someone be ‘too good’ of a person? Surely, not.
Well, I think they can.
People can be too good and too ethical.
Think of the single mother that takes care of her kids, works a full-time job, is always there when her friends need her and makes sure everyone else is taken care of because she has a heart of gold.
She is ‘too good’.
She is going to burn out since self-care is not a priority. She is going to do everything for everyone else and be left exhausted and frustrated. At that point she might become short with people, avoid her friends and not be present with her children. Instead of being her best self, she goes through the motions and just tries to get by.
Ok, so maybe you agree that people can be too good and that some standing up for your own needs is important. But too ethical…?
Well, let’s look at the ethics that many positive trainers have.
Something that I see over and over again in trainer circles is the venting about other trainers.
There is the obvious point of contention about training methods, but we’re not going to stir that pot today. 😉
We’re going to talk about the frustration trainers feel when seeing trainers with less experience and education making bank, calling themselves behaviorists or dog whisperers, and promising quick fixes or solving all behavior problems in 14 days.
It can be maddening.
And it doesn’t feel fair that their unethical marketing is attracting clients. Who doesn’t want a quick fix? Or a behavior guarantee?
Meanwhile, trainers, especially positive trainers are competing for clients while being as ethical as they can be in their marketing and sales.
Positive trainers are careful not to promise grand results.
They explain why they cannot give guarantees.
They taper expectations.
They talk the clients right out of the sale.
This is where R+ trainers are too ethical.
Too wary in their marketing for fear of overpromising.
You would much rather under-sell and overdeliver than potentially disappoint a client.
The result? More people choosing to use the (crappy) trainer who sells their training outcome confidently.
In essence, you’re sending clients to the trainers you know are not as good as you.
In the quest to be as ethical and transparent as possible, some dogs are going to get sub-par training and maybe even develop new fears or other issues from it.
So be ethical.
Stop underselling yourself, your training skills and what you can do for clients.