The secret to being a more successful teacher (and human being)

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What I’m about to tell you is the most overlooked key to being a successful teacher – as well as a successful business owner, parent, writer, athlete, and all around happy human being.

It’s the precursor to more sales, to repeat business, to turning customers into raving fans, to your ideas having a lasting impact on the hearts and minds of your students, readers, and clients.

It’s also how you unlock your own potential to thrive.

Really it can do all that, and more.

The secret? Feeling safe.

You can’t make decisions, take risks, or learn when your nervous system is on high alert. Your brain’s learning and decision-making functions slow or shut down. That’s why people click away from your sales page, stop attending your course, or never sign up for another one of your classes. They’re afraid. And they probably don’t even know it.

They’re afraid they won’t get it, they’ll look stupid, they’ll waste their money and time. In a nutshell: they’re afraid they’ll fail.

You’re afraid too and you can signal your fear to your students and potential clients. Do you worry if you have what it takes to be a great coach/web site designer/Pilates teacher? If anyone will buy your services? If you can keep learning and growing to stay current? Of course you do! We all have these worries.

But this low-grade state of fear can keep you stuck, and it can keep your customers from buying, and from learning growing. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Safety is something you can experience – and offer – starting right now.

Nothing is Going to Eat You
My favorite in-the-moment safety move is to stand up, stretch, exhale with a long “ahhhh.” Then I look around my studio and tell myself, “Nothing is going to eat me.” Yes, it makes me laugh but it also signals to my reptile brain that a stressful day does not equal death. You need a similar trick up your sleeve to calm yourself in the moment of freaking out. Use mine or one of the many relaxation tricks you already know.

Make Feeling Good a Priority
Remind yourself resetting your nervous system is not a luxury, it’s non-negotiable self-care, like exercising or drinking water. Become a devoted student of what relaxes you, both in the midst of a stressful situation and when you have an hour or a weekend to unwind. Weave more pleasure into your day – music, a tea you love, three squares of dark chocolate. Nourish your senses.

Extend Hospitality
Welcome your students warmly. At live events, greet people at the door, put them at ease. Online, say hi as people dial on, by name if possible. I always include a short video welcome inside my online courses where I also repeat info about how the course works for visual learners who might not read the welcome emails. Make it easy to navigate your website and sign up for your services; otherwise prospects feel dumb and unsafe, and they run away. Brainstorm simple ways to be a good host from the moment your customers and students come in contact with your business and you.

Where’s The Bathroom?
Clear driving instructions, sending the phone bridge number for each session, telling people what to bring to be comfortable – be meticulous in this area. Your student is looking for reasons to back out. Making her feel safe by taking care of basics can feel like cheating – it’s so easy, you’re not showcasing your brilliance – but I’ve seen simple details and tiny gestures of care prevent drop-outs, increase participation, and convert customers for life. Don’t overlook it.

Include the Body
A few moments of calming yourself and your students opens the space for learning and creates trust. It need not be woo-woo. You can joke that pro-football players practice mindful breathing before the SuperBowl, then invite a few full, relaxed breaths and long exhales.

Preview Your Material & Review Parameters
I always want to skip this step because I think it’s boring. But many people need to know what’s going to happen next or they can’t relax. Remind them how long the session or class will be, when questions are welcome, how many revisions are covered in your contract, how long it takes you to answer emails, the nuts and bolts stuff. Do this often. You may think it’s overkill but that’s only because it’s obvious to you.

Less is More
One of the biggest shifts I see in teachers who take my course TeachNow (1,006 students to date!) is understanding that information overload shuts down learning and hurts your bottom line. Too many teachers and business owners think being generous means flooding their customers with information and options. A big part of your job is make the hard choice of what to offer and in what sequence. Master this and your business – and impact – will soar. Discernment and focus is your friend.

I have a thousand more suggestions but then I wouldn’t be following my own advice! I’ll stop here with the invitation to become curious about what feeling safe offers you, and the people you work with. Investigate these suggestions and find your own ways to use safety as a path to growth. May it be fruitful!

Love,

Jen

P.S. Join TeachNow this round by TOMORROW AND RECEIVE two excellent bonuses:

  • Bonus #1: Top 10 Teaching Questions + Answers. This document is gold!! Several students told us it was their favorite part of the course.
  • Bonus #2: After the Retreat Is Over: Energy Alchemy for Teachers. This is an exclusive audio created JUST for TeachNow by the amazing Hiro Boga, master teacher. It’s a half-hour audio meditation to clear your energy body and energy field.

These bonuses go away after tomorrow. Join TeachNow today and get your bonuses AND start learning with Module 0, which begins tomorrow. Dive into the Master Teacher Interview library. This course is called TeachNow for a reason. What are you waiting for?