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Thursday
Mar212013

Christakis: networks' influence important

Nicholas Christakis has plenty of data on why people do what they do and how they are influenced.  

Christakis, a Havard University professor, was the Wednesday general session speaker at the 32nd Annual International Convention & Trade Show. The session was sponsored by Technogym.

As those in the fitness industry know, members can easily influence their friends, neighbors and co-workers, especially if they enjoy their experience at the gym. 

“How I treat you depends on how you were treated and how that person (that treated him) was treated,” Christakis said. “That is despite you have never met (the third person). Pay it forward is real. 

“Our influence doesn’t stop with people we directly we react with. It spreads through our networks. People’s attitudes and behaviors depen on the attitudes and behaviors of others.” 

But he warned that you have to be cognizant that some connections can cause a negative impact. 

He told a story of Alyssa Milano, the actress from “Who’s the Boss” and “Charmed,” who tweeted that she read one of his books. Despite her one million followers and the one million retweets one would think that sales of the book would go up. However, Christakis tracked the numbers and found that sales of the book actually went down, compared to past months. 

So, what he talk came down to was to make sure you, as gym owners and managers, treat your members well and are positive influences in your neighborhood because they can tell people who will tell other people who could be potential customers.

 

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