Consistency and the Rule of Threes

An illustration of three ionic columns standing against an orange sunset.

Have you ever heard of the “rule of threes”?
It’s the idea that a trio of concepts or characters is more satisfying, effective and memorable than other numbers.
I just used it right there—did you notice?
This rule can be used to train your staff, coach your clients or teach any concept in a few seconds.
I did it again!

Stance, Grip and Position

When you hear two concepts in a row, you feel anxious until you hear that satisfying third.
At our gym, we say, “Stance, grip, position.” Kelly Starrett taught us that every movement can be viewed through this lens.
At first, we thought it was just an easy way to teach coaches what to look for. But when we started saying it in every class every day, people started to listen.
Now in class we ask our members,  “What are three things you check every time you touch a barbell?”
They chant, “Stance, grip, position.”
It works!
If you want your people to remember anything, find your three.

Focus, Focus and More Focus

Take whatever concept you’re trying to teach or behavior you’re trying to change and cut it down to three simple things.
For example, we have three actions our staff members have to take every day:
Smile—at everyone you see.
Learn—something new every day.
Help—everyone you can.
If they do those three things, they’re doing their job.
When they are on the floor coaching a class, we ask them to:
Celebrate—reinforce what the client is doing.
Scale—the movement if necessary.
Correct—poor movement last.
You can break down almost any idea like this to make it more satisfying, effective and memorable.
But that’s only the first step. Once you have your three ideas, you have to repeat them so often that they become part of your DNA.
If you want clients to remember stance, grip and position, you have to say it in every class every day.
Stance, grip, position.
Stance, grip, position.
Our gym wifi router is called StanceGrip. Can you guess the password?
If you can’t, you don’t get wifi at our gym—because we won’t tell you!
To clients, everything just sounds like random words unless you repeat them all the time. This is consistency, and its effects are tremendous—but not instantaneous.
You’ll know you have things in place when you hear people repeating the words.

What’s Your Trio?

Earlier in this series, Chris Cooper said consistency is more important than anything else. He also told you about how consistently doing one thing has made him successful.
The lesson here is about making consistency a pillar of your business. First you determine those few very important things, then you communicate them, and then you repeat them regularly.
In our Incubator, we help you dial in your mission, vision and values, and then we help you communicate all three to your staff and clients. Later, in our Growth ToolKit, Incubator graduates listen to hear if their message is being repeated by clients and staff. When they hear it echo back to them, they know they’re running a focused, consistent business.
If you want to coach your clients, your staff or yourself, find your three.
Jason Williams is a Certified Two-Brain Mentor and the owner of CrossFit Hale and CrossFit Thames.

Other Media in This Series

Consistency Is Greater Than Everything Else
Consistency Is Greater Than Perfection
Driven Nutrition: Consistency Brings Success in a Tough Market
The 10-Week CEO Plan


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.