…in with the new

Every January, teachers, trainers, instructors all talk about the surge. You know those people who make New Year’ resolutions and show up to class en masse for a few weeks.

Some teachers thrive with the crowds.  The more the merrier. Others are caught off guard with a room full of people who don’t know thew cues or understand the language.

Regular students are greatly impacted too. During the first week of January, I had a regular student declare the he “hates those resolution people”. Hmm.

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The New Year is a dynamic time in the club or studio. There a a lot opportunities to get it right and to get it wrong. Here are a few things to consider during the influx of new students.

1. Humility. Keep your ego in check. The larger class size is not about you. People go for what time, place and price are most convenient.

2. Clarity. Regulars know your tone and cues, sometimes even your sequence. Be as clear and direct as possible as if you have a room full of strangers…because you may! Feeling confused or lost can drive people away.

3. Empathy. New students can get guidance and empathy from regulars who are welcoming. Offer up a story about your own first class or first breakthrough to help remind regulars that everyone has a first time some time.

4. Loyalty. Not every one will stick around. Schedules change or some other class is preferred. But to keep class retention high, offer solutions, not just resolutions, to new students showing up in January.


Check out this interesting article from INC magazine about customer loyalty done right.

https://www.inc.com/alison-davis/cvs-pharmacy-just-took-a-big-step-to-increase-customer-loyalty-heres-how-you-can-use-this-idea-to-meet-your-customers-needs.html

The Front Line

yogajoesWhen I started my yoga life, you could earn free classes through work trade.

I checked in classes, cleaned the bathrooms and mopped the studio floor.  I was happy to do it. If there was no one available, teachers had to check in their own classes.

Working the front desk was a privilege.

Today, it’s a job. People apply to work full or part-time, checking in classes and greeting students as they arrive. With retail, class packages, teacher-trainings and such, the job is much more complicated than when I checked in classes.

One thing that hasn’t changed is that the front desk is the front line in the studio. Students trust the person who’s informing them about the studio. Not only about where the bathroom is but also which classes to try.

I’m always shocked to hear about teachers being rude, dismissive or even abusive to those who work at the front desk.

These are our co-workers. And, the people who can make a difference in our teaching careers. Being a professional yoga teacher means being a professional co-worker.


5 ways to be an awesome co-worker

1. Let them know you’re there. Say “hello”.  Introduce yourself if you don’t know the person. When a teacher breezes past the front desk, even if late, it makes their job harder. If they don’t know that you’re there on time, it adds to the stress of check-in.

2. Say “please” and “thank you”. You learned it kindergarten, you know it’s right.

3. Don’t complain if there’s a small mistake. When a studio pays per head, you have to work hand-in-hand with the front desk to make sure the number is right. It’s no one’s fault if it’s wrong. It’s an opportunity to work together.

4. Invite them to your workshops/retreats at a discount. Most studios offer employee discounts. If you have an event outside of the studio, invite your co-workers to come. Offer a discount or an exclusive invitation to do a work-trade.

5. Do unto others. If you have a request or question during check-in or while the front desk is busy with students, be respectful when interrupting. “Sorry to interrupt…” “May I ask…” How would you respond to someone shouting or knocking on the table to get your attention? Sounds crazy, but teachers treat the front desk staff that way all the time.

**Photo credit: yogajoes.com