Who has your back during a pandemic?
I certainly found out and kept a strong core ( excuse the pun) of people throughout Covid – HOW?
How do you create a strong sense of community = LOYALTY
Showing up, day on day, year on year. Truly believing in your craft – ‘selling cleverness for bewilderment’, always updating skills, always caring and sharing your knowledge. Be vulnerable, admit to mistakes, ask for feedback and help. Be interested in your student and their lives, share your life with them. Be human and kind. Know that you do not have all the answers to their problems, but you are willing to listen and find a way. Acknowledge that some may be in pain and that it really might (usually isn’t) not be just physical. Be firm yet sensitive to build a trusting relationship.
Watch, observe and listen. Watch their body language as they come into the studio, how do they move, what are their patterns, read them. Eye contact, using their name, listening and being 110% present, hold a safe space for them. Breathe with your client ( do this subtly inside otherwise its a little creepy ), notice how they breathe – fundamental. Sinc into their movement and being, watch their eyes – they reveal some amazing bits of information.
Create a simple, fuss free space that smells nice. Meditate in the space first thing ( I feel it creates a positive vibe) look after and care for your studio like your home. It is a home for many, view it that way.
It may mean you wake up at 3am thinking about an exercise you should have given them, or that you wished you hadn’t. You may never fully switch off to a constant enquiry into the well being of those that learn from you. You may question yourself and your ability a lot. It may mean you can’t teach all the hours under the sun as it is exhausting from the amount of time you invest in your students. But this is how you build a community, you have to invest, you have to give a lot but the rewards are quite profound.
The Cliche – The more you give, the more you get back is so true. Covid hit after 10 years of building my business from nothing to the community I have today ( yep, most are still on board ). I had invested in these people. Covid closed the studio for 120 days but very quickly I adapted and kept my relationships alive by zoom. I taught them in their own homes, day in day out with the exact same integrity. I shared my fears and anxieties, there was a constant line of communication that for some proved a life line, especially for my lovely seniors. I hand delivered equipment if they didn’t have it, I carried on caring. Each day, little did they know these people kept me going, as it turns out they were my lifeline equally and they had my back.
Community matters, we are stronger together.