I recently had an employee take over a class that I was unable to teach anymore. He was an amazing instructor but, he was over weight. The class went from averaging 16 participants to 3 participants. I had a few members comment on his weight and make it known that is why they would not attend that class anymore. Is it okay for clientel to be biased about their instructors/trainers?
This is a tough one. To answer your last question about bias, of course clientele have the right to attend the classes they want, based on who will be instructing. We’re all human, and we have our preferences. That said, just because something or someone doesn’t appear to align with our expectations is not a valid reason to dismiss immediately.
I think the larger issue here (sorry, a non-intended pun) is the perception clients have of the instructor: his credibility, his knowledge, his professionalism…What exactly did they say to you about why they would no longer be returning?
A few questions for you:
-Why did you put him in that position (besides his being an “amazing” instructor)?
-Does he cue well?
-Does he offer challenging, yet modifiable movements?
-Does he treat the class with respect?
-Is he healthy? fit?
-Can he keep up with the demands of the class?
-Is he accomplished in his field? i.e., how many years has he been doing this?
-Do participants still get what they need from the class? (great workout, motivation, inspiration, etc..).
If all the answers to these questions is “yes”, then the problems rest more with your participants than with the instructor.
I think a lot of people have difficulty accepting direction (in this case, a class) from somebody who appears to need it…maybe more than the participants. I think if he’s able to make an authentic connection to these people, they would realize that it is worth their time and energy to spend it with somebody who might actually teach them something.