The Answers are Easy When You Ask the Questions First

Jun 11, 2020

It’s been said that “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I believe something similar is true when it comes to making decisions about your dance studio …

When the questions are asked, the direction becomes clear.

Do you lie awake at night with questions like these running through your head?

  • Should we figure out how to still hold a recital?
  • Will parents be upset if we don’t have a recital? Will students?
  • Will they come if we do have a recital?
  • What kinds of classes should we offer this summer?
  • Should we pivot to offer classes held outdoors where we can spread out more?
  • How can we put parents at ease as we open up again?
  • If we open back up, are our families ready to come back?

You worry about the answers because you care. You care about the success of your business. You care about your staff, your students, your families.

The good news is that the solution to relieve your worry will also show your staff, your students, your families that you care.

Show You Care by Asking for Their Opinion

Let me tell you about a studio owner I know who wasn’t sure whether or not to try to hold a recital this summer. She knew her students and families looked forward to it, and she didn’t want to disappoint them. However, this year it was going to take a lot of work to figure out the logistics of where, when, and how to keep everyone safe.

She fretted and worried about it for a while. Then I asked her what the parents of her students thought.

She admitted that she didn’t know. She assumed they wanted her to figure out a way to make it happen because having a recital had always just been a given. They had never not had an end-of-season recital.

But she hadn’t actually asked them.

I suggested that she contact her families and ask a single, simple, open-ended question: What do you think about having a recital this year?

She heard back from a whopping 92%. And their answers made it clear that they weren’t ready to get together again in the large group that a recital would mean.

Knowing this, her decision was easy. No recital this year.

She wasn’t disappointing anyone because her families didn’t want it anyway. She could stop worrying and, instead, focus her attention on how to open the studio back up again.

Asking the question about the recital made the decision of what to do easy. At the same time, it showed she cared enough to ask it in the first place.

How to Ask

The secret is in asking the right questions. Being intentional with your language. And then paying attention and listening to what people tell you.

You can ask a single question by text, email, or by the old-school phone call. Posting the question on social media is another option. Or you could send out a survey or poll.

Multiple choice answers make it easy to tally up the responses, but open-ended questions may get responses that are more useful to you in understanding how you can truly best serve your people.

This is a great way to get feedback from not just your families, but also from your students and staff.

They will tell you what they want … what they need from you … if you just ask the questions and then are observant of their answers.

Once you start asking the right questions, everything else falls into line.

Your ONE THING

Your ONE THING for this week is to survey your families or staff about something.

Get them used to you asking for feedback. You could start with a simple, single question … something easy to answer. Or you could ask for their thoughts on up to three things you’re curious about.

One question or three, keep it simple. You don’t want to overwhelm them or make it too much work.

And then, most importantly, listen to what they tell you in their responses.

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