Starting can be a scary process, especially when it comes to CrossFit. The first day of my Foundations class at my Box, I walked in with some anxiety. I didn’t know anyone except the Coach. Being a journalist and all, I’m usually pretty good with situations like this — heck, I talk to people I don’t know and go to new places on a daily basis. Still, I look forward to feeling comfortable as quickly as possible.
Fast forward three weeks and you’ll now see the members of my Foundations class high-fiving and cheering on one another. But I don’t think it’s simply the fact we have warmed up to one another. Our Coach was inviting and talkative, asking questions and making conversation from the start. He broke that initial layer of ice. He knew all fifteen of our names after that first week. I felt like I was known and if I didn’t show up, it would be noticed.
Surely this mentality is a necessity to cultivate in your Box? Those new members who are daring to step into an environment of challenge and strength are probably intimated. So it’s essential to plug them in immediately, locking them in before they can slip away, thinking they won’t be missed.
I would take a look about, and ask yourself if you know each and every member, or if they are known personally by one of your Coaches. People are constantly in search of community, desiring that feeling of belonging. The first step is to connect with them personally, learning about what they do and who they are, and not just on the CrossFit side of things either: “Molly, how’s your poodle Rufus? Is his leg healed yet?” or “How’s little Johnny? Has he bitten his sister again lately?”
I find when I am greeted personally and am engaged in meaningful conversation, I am more likely to go back to that place or call that person again. We as humans are relational; it’s time to start building those relationships in your business, making your members feel like they belong. Because if they don’t, then there’s no reason for them to stay.
So I challenge you in the next week to sit down and think about it. How many members do you have? How many do you know? How can you connect with those who seem a bit distant? How can you get your Coaches in on it?
Maybe relationships with people aren’t your or your Coaches’ strength. Well, the best way to get stronger in this skill is to practice getting to know your members. Sometimes, it can be exhausting to socialize continually, but when it comes down to the cold, hard facts, your Box is made up of people. If they don’t feel like they belong, they’ll be taking their business elsewhere.