Whenever you assemble a group of diverse personalities, drama is inevitable, but it also can be devastating to your staff and your business. Six salon experts share their drama sagas, as well as their strategies for managing them and achieving salon harmony.
FLIP THE TELEVISION CHANNEL to any reality show that portrays the innerworkings of a salon, and you’re bound to see salon drama in action. From the trash-talking stylist badmouthing her salon owner to the demanding client leaving in disgust to two staff members flinging words and sometimes worse in the parking lot, salon drama makes for good television.
Of course, we all know that reality TV is not always so realistic, but there is some truth to the fact that the very social and intimate environment of the salon creates a breeding ground for drama.
“Whenever you have multiple personalities in one environment, it’s not a matter of if drama will show up, but simply a matter of when,” says Lauren Gartland, president and founder of Inspiring Champions, a salon coaching and consulting company. “A high-drama individual is like a bad piece of fruit which if not removed will spread quickly and contaminate the other fruit—your team.”
While all that bad behavior makes for great ratings on television, it can mean a monster of a migraine for a salon’s owner and manager. Worse yet, consistent drama in a salon breeds staff resentment, constant tension, and even lost clients and staff. If not managed, that constant drama can be the downfall of a business.
Over the course of the last six months, SALON TODAY consulted with leading salon owners and identified four, very real dramatic scenarios that almost every owner ends up dealing with at one time or another. Then, we assembled what we’ve affectionately named our Drama Board, a panel of six salon management experts who’ve come prepared to share their own personal salon dramas and the strategies used to resolve them—as well as management steps for eliminating the drama in the first place.
The Dramatic Types: