Let them settle in so they can appreciate it.
I used to think I shouldn’t repeat myself for fear of boring an audience. Boy was I wrong about that!
People love predictability (franchises are a great example), they want to know what they are going to get. I found there’s a way to create an environment that can produce positive change within a steady flow of practice.
Aerobics class showed me the value of repetition
Ages ago I taught choreographed aerobics. High-impact, low-impact, step, slide; you name it I taught it.
In my first fitness center job in the eighties, working my butt off for minimum wage, I was at a club where every instructor taught aerobic class exactly the same. Three-times a day, the same moves and the same music.
We’d make a big deal to introduce a new song once a month. It kept the routines familiar for everyone to really ‘get it’ while keeping one little part new and fresh.
Some songs we never wanted to retire. Years later I still remember most of the moves for The Way You Make me Feel by Micheal Jackson!
Having this choreographed routine with one new song a month meant we’d do the same routine for almost a year! And you know what? We all LOVED it.
That club had the most loyal membership I have ever seen. Members stayed for decades and the instructors were like a family. We were a part of something.
And here’s the secret sauce: everyone knew what they were going to get and chose to be there. Things ran like clockwork.
Then I forgot the magic formula
When I started freelancing at multiple gyms, I was in charge of my own choreography and my own music. I quickly forgot that repetition was something people loved.
I made up new routines every week, all fancy-schmancy. Sure they were good, but people never settled into them. They spent most of the hour fervently trying to keep up!
After one class, a gal came up to me and said, ‘I loved that routine last week, why did you change it?’
My mouth opened but I had no answer.
Why did I feel the need to reinvent the wheel every class? Was I trying to prove something?
Did I think they needed more fresh than familiar?
I noticed the super-packed classes were the ones where the instructors kept high repetition in their choreography and predictability in the intensity and flow.
So I adjusted my choreography methods and discovered- heck! The people were happier and having more fun and it was easier for me too! (Heel of hand to forehead!)
Over the years I really came to see that people don’t mind hearing the same message and experiencing the same method (or drinking the same coffee drink) over and over! It’s comforting and allows for competency and less energy spent on decision making.
I held to this magic formula in all my healing art practice methods going forward. Steady repetition, with a dash of challenge.
This doesn’t mean innovation is dead.
I love coming up with ideas and making new things! I call it ‘the idea-sphere’! It’s such a fun place to be!
But I can’t stay there without my service quality suffering because things are always new – not known and experienced. I go into this concept a bit more in this YouTube video.
There’s a time to brainstorm and create new things, and there’s a time to bring your ideas to Earth. That requires duplication.
Become the magnet that attracts.
Think about this; the Earth has a magnetic pull because it revolves.
It repeats its rotation over and over and over and this gravity attracts other bodies to it.
So if I spend the majority of my time coming up with new ideas in a straight outward line of exploration rather than repeating myself, I may leave loyal people behind in my wake.
One of my teachers, George Kao has an interesting concept of repetition where he creates three stages of the same educational content. It gets clearer and clearer every time and no one minds to hear it again and in a deeper way.
So I might forget the magic formula now and then and grab for a bright shiny new ‘thing’, but most of my time spent is best allotted to repeating and adjusting what I’ve already got.
As I try out new methods of how to deliver my message, I still keep the message the same.