A Great Salon Needs a Great Leader
Jeff Grissler, Amazon Best Selling Author, Consultant and Educator
How many of us have had jobs that never really taught us anything? We showed up every day and did what we had to do, not really enjoying it, just going through the motions. Many of us long for that special person to not only guide us but to mentor us to bring out the best side of our creativity and enabling us to grow as individuals.
When you opened your salon or became a manger, the thought of leading a team was not even a thing you considered. Yes, you knew there would be responsibility, but a leadership role was not on your radar. When you did the unimaginable and opened the salon, suddenly you realized that your life had changed. With that change came an enormous responsibility, not only to yourself but to the people that you hired.
Everyday these people come to you looking for guidance and help. You morphed not only into a leader but a psychologist, mother, father and a shoulder to cry on. How you react to these situations separates you from other business owners. A true leader knows the way, goes the way and shows the way and no matter what the situation, and tries to steady the ship and stay on course at all times.
Leadership lessons – In the beauty salon there will be many times that your stylists may make mistakes. Some really bad others not so bad but still things just didn’t turn out right. As the leader you must give the bad news or criticism. Not saying anything doesn’t change the way things are done. They just continue and things don’t get fixed. The problem continues. This approach doesn’t do anything good for you as the owner or manager or the stylist. If you have honest feedback share that with them. That’s the only way you contribute anything to the person. How will they learn unless the issue is resolved?
Treating everyone equal – There are many personalities in the salon. The ages of the stylists will vary. How you handle problems amongst your team will be watched closely. Like a captain on a ship you must learn to treat everyone equal. You have to be honest, transparent and fair. If a problem does arise you must react with the same approach every time. Each problem may be different but how you handle things must stay the same. Having favorites and treating stylists differently will be a huge mistake in the salon.
Discipline is essential – We have all heard the expression that time is money, or that I just didn’t have enough time today to get everything done today or there’s always tomorrow. Well in order to be a great leader you need to be disciplined about time management. Start by writing things down. If you have a task list with ten items cross them off while you get them done. Put the items that are most important first and work your way through the list. Proper time management will change your life. Write it down, take care of each item and follow through!
Make them believe – In order to get everyone on board and follow you your team must believe in you. Your values, how you treat people, what you where to work and your approach to problem solving will all be part of your leadership role. If you expect your team to come to work on time, dressed to the nines with the newest fashions, hair and nails perfect. You as the leader can’t show up late for your first hair appointment wearing jeans, t-shirt, flip-flops, with no make-up on, looking like you just rolled out of bed. Not a good example and certainly not a true leader.
Open Kimono – It’s essential to have team meetings. These meetings must be the entire staff. Having the meetings after work or on a day off assures that no one is rushing off to go home and everyone is relaxed and paying attention. I use the term open “Kimono” if you have not heard the term it means open up or bare all. Everyone should be able to openly discuss issues and problems in the salon. This facilitates an open forum to share issues and eliminate the drama that arises in salons daily.
You should lead the discussion and everyone should be able to discuss what’s on their minds without interruptions. Each team member should have a few minutes to give input and openly discuss education, problems, procedures and what may be bothering them. As a leader you should not discount anything that said even if it’s from the youngest employee. Remember the youth of the salon will someday mentor others.
This process will lead to positive feedback, change procedures, enhance policies and build a better environment within the salon. The open Kimono strategy will help the staff who feel cagey about expressing themselves and or may be intimidated when discussing disputes while at work. Overtime everyone will feel closer with each other, work together and respect you for having these team gatherings.