“At Salon Concrete, we do leadership classes once a month for more experienced stylists. They understand how important it is to lead by example. Be proactive. Owners and managers need to understand that it is their responsibility to clearly define and set expectations. Don’t allow it to get to the point where your staff members are Divas.”
Ginny Eramo, owner of Interlocks in Newburyport, Massachusetts: “When it comes to the Diva situation, I’ve always disengaged—I just end the relationship. Of course, I start with coaching, but a Diva often doesn’t receive coaching well, as they don’t have the ability to critique themselves. They see everything as competition. I’ve never had anyone who was a Diva become a team player. Recently, I had someone whom I worked with for seven years, and periodically her Diva behavior would rear its ugly head. We would have a meeting, as opposed to coaching, but I only succeeded in buffering the situation—the negativity was always present. The only reason any owner keeps a Diva is because they are producing, which in turn creates the Diva. Popularity and client retention actually builds their ego in an unhealthy way. And, clients aren’t always honest, they too, stroke egos. They want the stylist to like them and produce a great service.”
Byran Nunes, owner of Blo in Raleigh, North Carolina: “The fear by leadership is really a short-term fear, but the long-term consequences of focusing on that short-term fear are grave. Bringing a Diva-type personality into awareness is key. When you educate someone like this, you don’t have to be attached to what they choose to do with the information. Also, let the rest of the team know it is their responsibility to help this person maintain a focus rather than complain about the person or remain silent. Ignoring or complaining about the Diva to the rest of the team is far more damaging. We are all responsible for the Diva’s effect on the environment, even more so because we are allowing our fears to keep us from bringing the Diva into awareness.
We had a situation where I let a Diva go—and yes, I remind myself that I don’t fire people, people choose to get fired. Our team holds each other accountable, and they hold me accountable, too. Here’s an example: Recently, I created a blog for my staff. There is a calendar on it that plans our education. The other day my director of education called me out on not using my own resource. I created it so people didn’t have to ask her about every event, yet I was doing just that. She knows I am not above being held accountable.”
Lauren Gartland, founder of Inspiring Champions: “A salon is a difficult business to own because there are a lot of people in this industry who are high-drama and they bring it into the business. As the business owner, you must stand firm that this is an unacceptable behavior and it will not be tolerated. You can change behavior if you have a person who wants to improve and they embrace you as a leader. If not, let them go!”