The value of repetition

2019-04-07

One day I sat down to give some feedback to my boss. I don’t know about you but that’s not my favourite part of the day.

We’d recently had a meeting where he took us over some changes to our team’s purpose. It was a good strategy. The problem was that he’d never mentioned it again.

“You have to repeat this if you want it to stick,” I told him. “This is an important message and it will resonate, but if you don’t repeat it until people can say it back to you in their sleep, everyone is just going to keep doing what they’re doing.”

He thanked me for my advice, and he did actually go over the message again with the group - one more time. The idea was so clear to him that he just couldn’t see the need to keep going over it.

I shrugged. At least I’d tried.

Deep down, I understand. One of the things that makes me nervous about blogging, especially daily blogging, is repeating myself. I feel like I’ll end up saying the same thing again and again. Won’t people hate it? Won’t it be super uninteresting?

I have to remind myself that this blog is for me as much as it is for you. And sometimes when a message is important, it’s worth saying a few times.

Months after our meeting, my boss told us that an advisor had told him about the value of repeating an important message. So he was going to go over the strategy again until people really got it.

I was annoyed. That’s exactly what I said! Why did the advice of some highfalutin’ advisor matter more than mine?

Then I realized the problem. I’d told him he needed to repeat important messages if people were going to really absorb them, but I only told him once. It hadn’t gotten through to him until someone else repeated it. I hadn’t followed my own advice. Oops!