I have worked for many group exercise directors. What I like most in a director is consistency. No matter the issue, consistency. Unfortunately with the advent of so many electronic/technical devices out there, when I receive communication regarding important issues and it comes forward in an email or text, the context gets lost and it’s easy to misinterpret tone. But we rely so heavily on that form of communication, right? 🙂
As I have had this role for a substantial portion of my professional career, I am keen to see the answers that roll out on this board! I also teach at other clubs so I also work under other GFM’s.
Before I react personally to decisions handed me by the GFM’s I work under, I always consider the following:
* the GFM has some 20 plus casual staff to manage – so I get that communication may sometimes appear impersonal when it isn’t
* decisions / orders most likely come from management above their post
* the changing nature of group fitness means that I may need to change or that change may be thrust upon me that I am not always personally comfortable with
* the GFM role is part time – I do not know any GFM here in Australia or overseas that manages a schedule wholly and soley as their full time job; this means that reactions to things may not be as swift as I would like
* I check wether I am taking things personally – because I am so passionate about my classes and invest so much of myself into them, sometimes a direction or comment may be taken personally instead of in the professional way I should take it
I’ve both been the GFM and have worked for and with them. The worst quality was actually one who was the most talented instructor. A great group fitness instructor doesn’t necessarily make a great manager; they are two unique skill sets.
The strongest leader we’ve ever had is a facilitator of ideas, manager of schedules, open to new possibilities, works well with all departments in the club, and does teach but doesn’t have to shine. He or she neutral about her own personal opinions mattering and listens more to the members and observes growth then makes decisions based on that.
The manager at the studio I work at is great. She’s not a trainer herself, but definitely a business woman. This is great because she openly encourages the trainers to do what they know is necessary in each class and with each client, and I don’t feel like I have to “fit” any particular style of teaching other than my own.
The only down side I experience is possibly over-extending the schedule with a lot of different kinds of classes and encouraging us to pick up many shifts… but again, not really a problem if you like what you do 🙂