The Power of Repetition

Why Effective Communication Relies on Saying Things More Than Once


Communication is a key pillar of any successful organization. For Dottie Belletto, Founder and CEO of New Orleans-based event marketing company NOCCI, cultivating a culture of sharing and communication translates into better stakeholder relationships and, consequently, profits. It may be difficult to get through to people sometimes, but Dottie shares, “As a leader, you must keep trying. It’s worth it.” 


Keep trying. There’s value in persistence and repetition. 


Repetition is a key component of effective communication. When leaders consistently repeat key messages, they can enhance clarity, increase comprehension, and drive meaningful action. 


It’s Just How Our Brains Are Wired 


The human brain is complex. On average, it processes about 6,000 thoughts per day, according to a study by Nature Communications. With such a high volume of stimuli, our brains are wired to focus only on the messages that are repeated. While our minds might filter out a one-off comment, hearing something multiple times triggers different reactions and encodes memories more deeply. 


The more often individuals hear key messages and practice new behaviors, the more they will retain what they’ve learned. Whether it’s a change in process or a shifting company objective, individuals will hear, understand, and incorporate key messages into their work when they hear them frequently and consistently. 


Repeating Messages Brings Clarity 


When you say something more than once and the listener can digest and absorb what’s being said, they have a better chance of understanding and internalizing the message. This is particularly true when introducing new company initiatives. When people hear something more than once, they have more than one opportunity to follow up and ask questions, which can also help to bring clarity to the message’s key point. 


If a manager delivers a quick one-time announcement about an impending organizational change, employees may walk away unclear about the details. When will it happen? Where are people moving? Will roles change? By repeatedly discussing the planned change, the manager can proactively address these questions and concerns. 


Repetition Helps Overcome Resistance 


If a team leader delivers a message to the team only once or twice and everyone is not in agreement, people can resist by simply ignoring the message. Because they only heard it once, people feel free to “tune out” a one-off message and go about their day. They can actively resist by insisting they didn’t hear or understand the message. 


However, if the leader repeats the message and seeks out agreement and comprehension from all members of the team, any resistance to the message can be identified and resolved. For example, if a manager announces a new top-down sales strategy just once, sales reps may resist adopting it. But if the manager explains the new technique in multiple meetings, answers questions, acknowledges concerns, and reiterates the benefits, the team will be more likely to buy in. 


Repetition Ensures Everyone Is Included 


Repetition in communication ensures that everyone who needs to hear a key message hears it. A team meeting will therefore be much more effective if team goals are not only repeated but discussed so that everyone has a chance to react, ask questions, and understand their unique role in helping to achieve the goals. 


When goals are repeated and discussed, everyone is included and everyone has a chance to participate. For example, if a company president simply sends a single email detailing a new sustainability initiative, many employees may miss the message. But if she repeatedly references sustainability in company meetings, internal communications, and one-on-ones, all staff will get on board. 


Tips for Putting Repetition to Work 


Now that we’ve explored why repetition matters, here are some best practices for baking it into your organizational communications: 


  • Identify 3-5 key messages or themes and reiterate them frequently in meetings, emails, presentations, etc. But avoid sounding like a broken record – keep your delivery creative. 
  • Present important messages across multiple formats like email, videos, signage, chats, etc. to maximize exposure. 
  • Share success stories that exemplify the behaviors you want to promote. 
  • Schedule recurring check-ins on key initiatives to refresh understanding and compliance. 
  • Use mantras, slogans, hashtags, and other repeatable elements to reinforce messaging. 
  • Gather feedback through surveys and conversations to identify areas where more repetition would be beneficial. 


Final Thoughts 


At the end of the day, the human brain is just plain busy. To cut through the noise and drive understanding, leaders must be willing to repeat themselves. Rather than shying away from redundancy, embrace it as a best practice that leads to clarity, comprehension, and consensus across an organization. Because the more you say it, the more they’ll remember it. In Dottie Belletto’s words, “It’s worth it.” 


Mindset is everything. 



Eagles Flight Asia is a leading experiential learning provider across Singapore and the Asia Pacific region. We provide learning & development and behavior change programs around culture, leadership, change management, onboarding, employee engagement, and more. 


The Eagles Flight brand of experiential learning engages and challenges all levels of participants, delivering a competitive edge to all sizes of organizations through behavior change that leads to improved performance.