9 Steps to organise a Part I course
-by a very, very senior teacher…
- Set up a date, time and venue for a Part I course. Get dates from a teacher. Make sure the teacher you are getting the dates from is one you get along well with if you have a choice in the matter :-). Don’t hesitate to ask for help or advice from this teacher in any of the steps mentioned below if you need it. The dates that you get should be at least 15 to 20 days away from Day 1 below. See that you do your Sadhana every day. It will make all the difference. Before embarking on anything you do, always pray to Guruji.
- Days 1, 2: Make a list of 30 people you know who have not done the course. Call them up one by one and use all your guiles to get them to do the course. Cajole, nag, request, blackmail, ask it as a birthday gift… do whatever it takes, but get them to fill up the form and pay the money. You should NOT pay for them under any circumstances. Just don’t take no for an answer. It is called being a bit rude but with utter belongingness. Don’t worry about being polite here, just use all your authority and make them sign up.
Understand that a person who has not done the course is not qualified to take a decision about it whether he wants to do it or not, because he has not done it yet. You cannot make an informed decision about something you have no idea about. So you will need to make that decision for them, and then see to it that you enforce it.
- Days 3, 4: Now make up a list of 10 people you know who have done Art of Living, but are not too actively involved in Seva or Sadhana. So this list should exclude names of teachers and strong volunteers. Call them up and inspire them to enrol just 2 people for the course. Now you have the right to do that because you yourself have done it. Again use authority with belongingness. See to it that you make it possible for these 10 people to be able to conveniently get the filled up forms and the money to you.So firstly you should get at least 5 blank forms to them, and then make it possible for them to painlessly submit everything filled up and completed to you. Once they have done their job congratulate them and thank them. Make them feel really good about what they have done.And most importantly from now on see to it that you stay in regular contact with them.
- Day 5: This is the day of consolidation from steps 1 and 2. Once you finish this take a rest. Have a party!
- Day 6: Now you need to learn to reach out to strangers. Go out for as long as it takes with registration forms and your best smile, and talk to total strangers about Art of Living and how you have been benefited by it. Make sure that you get a minimum of 3 confirmed registrations. Don’t come back home without them.
For a lot of people this exercise is the most fun so far, for others it can be the most intimidating experience. If you feel you just cannot talk to strangers, enrol some friend to go with you. You will see that once you have talked to 3 to 4 people, it will become easy, and enjoyable.
- Days 7, 8: Now you need to be able to ask for money without flinching. So on these days, go and get 2 registrations for Dharma Stumbh Yojana. It may be from Art of Living or non Art of Living people.
- Day 9 to day before course day: You have now learned how to talk to people you know, how to get people you know to work for you, how to talk to people you don’t know, and how to ask for money. Its now time for you to become even more efficient.At this point make a list of as many people you know, excluding teachers and strong volunteers. Call them up one by one and ask them to get 5 to 7 people (maximum 7) over to their house for some snacks. Tell them that you will come as well and talk to the guests about Art of Living very informally. Inspire them to do this for you. Fix a time.Show up 30 minutes before the scheduled time, and talk to the host. Inspire the host to share a few nice experiences with the guests. Once the guests come in, get the host to introduce you to them and then very casually talk to them about the course. Again with belongingness, firmly get them to sign up for the course. Normally in 30 to 45 minutes you should be able to get all the guests signed up. Once they leave, thank and congratulate the host and ask when you could do this again… say it was a lot of fun and compliment the host on the food. Make sure you now stay in regular touch with the host. This is called the HIT or the Home Intro Talk. It is one of the most efficient ways of enrolling people.
- During and after the course: stay in touch, stay in touch, stay in touch… now you have got all these new people to use step 7 on :-)!!!
- Teach other people to do what you are doing. Pass the technique on.