As I tired of the parades and the bowl games over the extended New Year's weekend, I quietly pulled out my puzzle. I neither encouraged nor invited my family members to participate, I simply started piecing together the border at our kitchen table. Before I knew it, my husband abandoned the remote control, my son stepped away from the Wii and my daughter jumped off Facebook, and they all were working a section of the puzzle. They may have made fun of me in the beginning, but ultimately I got what I wanted this holiday season-some quality family time.

As the leader of your salon, there are many ways you can quietly encourage positive behavior in your salon simply exhibiting the behavior yourself. Mandates and new rules often are met with resistance. Instead, see how far you can get simply by setting a good example:

  • Read a good business, motivational or self-improvement book. Bring it to work with you, talk about it, and leave it the break room. Take it a step further and establish a shared-book shelf and keep it stocked with great titles.

  • Refrain from gossiping with your clients or your employees. Keep conversations positive, upbeat and professional. Share helpful styling tips with your clients and make product recommendations.

  • Dress professionally whenever you are in the salon.

  • Keep your work area-whether it's a styling station or an office desk- organized and clean. Make a habit of putting everything in order by the end of the day.

  • Don't miss an opportunity to publicly praise your team members when you witness them doing something great, and remember to thank them. Not only does the praise encourage positive behavior, but it may encourage them to be complimentary of one another.

  • Start staff meetings on time, and prevent them from running late.

  • Carpool, reduce waste, reuse items, and recycle in the salon.

If your actions get the desired result, continue your leadership example. (And yes, I went out and bought more puzzles.) Got your own great idea for leading by example? Please share.


Stacey Soble has been involved in the conversation of salon business for 14 years-as a reporter, a consultant and as the editor in chief of SALON TODAY.

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