One of the essential elements of creating and teaching any program, is the delicate art of rhythm, timing, and sequence. It forms the beating pulse of deep learning.
Back when I trained teachers, this trifecta of rhythm, timing and sequencing was one that my students either understood intuitively, or struggled with in their practice teaching sessions.
Sequencing is an art rather than a science. It emerges naturally from an inner sense of order, alignment and attunement.
I experience it as a felt sense, in my body, of rightness — of dropping down into the natural pattern that is woven by the relationship between the material I’m teaching, the energetic container of the class, and the women and men participating, who are engaged in a collaborative process of exploration, discovery and transformation.
Each of these elements in the ecology of the classroom has its own frequency, its own energetic pattern. A masterful teacher blends them together the way a great conductor blends the music from individual players in an orchestra.
The difference between teachers who use rhythm, timing and sequencing effectively, and those who don’t, is largely a function of Presence, though practice, skill, and experience also factor into it. Teachers whose teaching is grounded primarily in their intellect, rather than in their wholeness, miss the deeper rhythms that pulse through the ecology of the classroom.
A simple example: When you introduce a transformative process — a guided meditation, a teaching, an experiential exercise — without first taking the time to help people get grounded, centered, and present, you introduce a destabilizing element in an already unstable field. Energetically, this creates static and chaos, both in the classroom ecology and in your students.
Transformation, which is a fluid force, requires a container of structure, safety and stability.
Rhythm, timing and sequence are the bones of that structure. They allow change to happen with the least amount of friction, and they serve the graceful integration of the new patterns that emerge.
Even if you’re teaching a primarily practical program on various aspects of building and maintaining a business, for example, there is a natural shape to the sequence and flow of information. When your program materials follow that sequence, each element that you present builds upon the one before it.
You build in pauses and breathing room, in the structure of your program. Depending on what you want your program participants to walk away with, you include a structure for connection, engagement and community — a forum, perhaps, or live Q&A and coaching calls. You include a structure for practicing the skills they are learning, in between class sessions. And you offer a structure for integrating the new skills and learning into their lives and businesses.
Sequencing is at the heart of organic learning and growth. It creates the shape that holds your emerging self. It creates the shape that holds the becoming of your business.
How about you? Where, in your life or your business, are you using rhythm, timing and sequencing effectively? Where do they need some fine-tuning?