By this stage in our lives, I hope we’ve all seen the masterpiece “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Even if you haven’t (get on that!), it’s nearly impossible to live your entire life without hearing someone say “Bueller?…Bueller?…Bueller?”
This simple quote became one of the most memorable lines of the movie because of its use of repetition. This repetitiveness can make other things equally memorable. Creating your own philosophy and utilizing repetition to enforce it can help bring to life the business and personal goals you’ve had since youth.
Now that we’re older, we have the chance to be the influence, rather than be influenced. Whether it’s a child, a co-worker, or a friend, we can empower others to replicate our own behavior to better themselves, their workplaces, and their lives.
The Key to Good Influence is Repetition
Our company’s core values of accountability, integrity, communication, and honesty are constantly mentioned during meetings. These values are posted on the walls in every room of our building. I start with our core values in every video newsletter I record. We use repetition so there’s no avoiding them. If you leave the office with them stuck in your head, something’s working correctly. It benefits the work ethic at our company, and similar tactics could help yours.
One enjoyable – and less obvious – way to use repetition at the office is by rewarding hard work publicly, such as an Employee of the Month award. You don’t need to give guidelines for how to win. The subtlety of rewarding an outstanding worker each month can inspire other employees to imitate the winner, creating a cycle of determination, good morale, and responsibility. People will eventually pick up on the fact that certain behaviors are acknowledged more than others and follow suit.
Are We Creating Robots?
When you talk about people imitating your behavior, you might worry that you could be sucking someone’s true personality or behavior out. That’s not always the case. It may feel like you’re creating a robot, but you could simply be instilling good morals in someone else.
Once, an employee of mine was processing orders as a fill-in. He ended up making a mistake that cost the company a bit of money. Instead of shying away from the situation and pointing fingers, the employee displayed our core value of integrity and owned up to his mistake. He wasn’t being a clone of a successful person at work; instead, he was acting as a living example of the values that are repeated so frequently at the company.
This can also prove true for parents of young children. If you show your child kindness and affection, he can relay that to others in his world, just as if you let a curse word slip in front of him, he may have a new word to tell his friends on the playground the next day.
Not Just for Businesspeople, But All People
While the theory of repetition benefits a work environment, it can be applied to any other aspect of life. It can be something small, such as picking up a new phrase that your friends use a lot. It can be something bigger, like dropping a bad habit. When you notice a lot of people doing something that bothers you, you’re likely going to stop doing it yourself.
Here are a few quick tips to try when attempting to make a message stick:
Have only a few rules or a mantra.
- Repeat them to yourself a lot: jot them on a notepad, use them as your desktop background, or post them on your medicine cabinet.
- Be consistent with your rules (that’s why you should only have a few).
By keeping them simple and talking about them often, you may start to see your own best behaviors reflected in those around you.
And I Repeat…
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again (and again and again): Repetition is one way to achieve your various goals.
If you’re a businessperson, your employees can emulate you. If you’re a father, your children can emulate you. If you’re a friend, your friends can emulate you. If someone looks up to you, one way to make the most of your influence is through repetition. If you’re going to leave an impression, you might as well strive to leave a good one.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons