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 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? 🙂
In my experience communication and the ability to be able to approach your director is very important. They need to be able to engage the trainers as well as the rest of the staff in a way making them feel a sense of autonomy.
Also, serving the interests of the business and upper management, and being able to explain this well to the instructor team. And on the flip side, being able to communicate the value of the group-ex team to management. They don’t always think from the same perspective, and being able to see both the business side and the instructor side of things helps.