The Power of Repetition: the Secret of Successful Leaders

“A friend of mine once paraphrased David Gergen, saying on the subject of repetition, “If you want to get your point across, especially to a broader audience, you need to repeat yourself so often, you get sick of hearing yourself say it. And only then will people begin to internalize what you’re saying.” [Jeff Weiner, Ex-CEO of Linkedin]

Get creative with your repetition.

Saying the same thing over and over again is not what repetition as a leader is about. That’s just annoying.

The power of repetition requires a bit more finesse and skill. It’s about finding multiple creative and effective ways to get the same idea across to your team. 

Reinforce your message in multiple ways.

Say it first and then put it in writing.

When you talk about an issue or idea with a team member you have the critical opportunity to hear their side of things. This can help improve the next steps and help get their buy-in

When it’s only words, it’s much harder to tell the difference between a big problem, and minor feedback.

Talk first. And then put it in writing.

Make sure praise and positive reinforcement are fully understood.

The power of repetition is not just about fixing problems. It can also help you when you’re looking to praise and reward your team.

If you like work or actions you see, tell them! As Sam Walton said, praise is free and has a big impact.

Lead by example, repeatedly.

There’s nothing more powerful than the example you set to your team. Nothing frustrates a team faster than “Do as I say, not as I do” situations.

“A manager has got to remember that he is on stage every day. His people are watching him. Everything he does, everything he says, and the way he says it, sends off clues to his employees. These clues affect performance. So never forget you are on that stage.”

Embrace being on this stage! When you want to tap the power of repetition, use your example as a powerful piece of it.

Use your example as a teachable moment.

Just because you do something well does not mean your team understands why you did it that way. When you set a good example and it creates the results you hoped for, use that as a teachable moment.

Take some time to explain to them what happened and why it’s important. This helps your people better understand the approach you want them to follow.

The power of repetition is in its simplicity. A message heard repeatedly is more likely to stay in your mind.

The more senses a concept touches, and times it is heard, the more likely your team will hear your message and help deliver the results you desire.


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