Management Practices

A Leader’s Guide to Conquering Conflict

Web Editor | July 10, 2011 | 1:34 PM

A Leader’s Guide to Conquering Conflict

Are you a salon leader who gets anxious working in or around conflict? If so, is the thought of resolving that conflict unsettling enough that you put it off as long as possible? If you don't like conflict, it makes sense to engage in the resolution of it. But if engaging in the resolution of the conflict is so unsettling that you disengage, the conflict will continue. It's a classic chicken-and-egg scenario.

In contrast, there are the mighty leaders who bravely enter the conflict like invincible knights in shining armor. They slay the culprits' hidden agendas and bludgeon the issues until the conflicting parties surrender. But is the conflict resolved or just hiding, waiting to conflict another day?

Conflict is a Natural Occurrence

Want to avoid conflict entirely? Live in a protective bubble! Simply put, conflict is part of life. It's going to occur in your life, in the workplace and in the world around you.

Change brings conflict. Companies, systems, cultures and behaviors must change in order to grow.

By the same token, it's impossible to lead without encountering adversity or setbacks. If you think about it, business is much like war: full of conflict. You fight competitors for control of territories or markets. You plot strategies. You even have special teams and "general" managers. You lead your company through adversity to victory. That's leadership. That's business.

The Tough Stuff Defines You

To be a leader is to accept responsibility for growing and protecting the company, its people and its customers-to create a sustainable and enduring enterprise. You cannot lead without being accountable to the tough stuff. That means dealing with conflict.

You will cut costs and take away jobs. You'll meet with your biggest customer to apologize for a mistake. You will discipline, or even fire, a subordinate whom you consider a friend. You enter the fray of conflict between clashing personalities, differing opinions and the dreaded change-resisters. How well you do the tough stuff will define your effectiveness and success as a leader. No compromise. 


Neil Ducoff is the founder and CEO of Strategies, a business training and coaching company specializing in the salon and spa industry. During his 38 years as a business trainer, coach, keynote speaker and author, Neil has gained respect as the guru of team-based compensation. Neil is the author of Fast Forward, the definitive business resource book for salons and spas. For more information, go to You can e-mail Neil at [email protected]

More from Management Practices

Management Practices
Management Practices

Dos and Don’ts When Communicating with Upset Guests

July 31, 2018

They say the key to every great relationship is communication – and handling a guest complaint is no different. It’s not ideal to have to communicate with an upset guest, yet we’ve all been there and it’s likely we’ll be there again someday. Here are the dos and don’ts to keep in mind to help you successfully communicate with upset guests.

Management Practices @vanessapalstylist cutting a precision bob hairstyle. 
Management Practices

SALON TODAY RECOMMENDS: Strategies for In-Salon Education & Minimizing Stylist Turnover

Lauren Salapatek | May 4, 2018

What kind of continuing education do you have at your salon? Are you inspiring your employees to reach their full potential? This month Aveda Means Business covers topics from in-salon education to minimizing stylist turnover. Learn some ways on how to attract stylists who are passionate about the business and who will fit in with your salon’s culture.

Management Practices Sponsored by L'Oréal Professionnel

OWNER TO OWNER: The David Rios Salons’ Secrets to Providing 5-Star European Service for the Country’s Most Demanding Clients

May 2, 2018

Many of the country’s most brilliant, talented and powerful people live and work in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. They’re politicians, diplomats, attorneys. Also professors and students at the nation’s top universities. So, if you’re servicing these people in your salon, you had better be at the very top of your game.

Load More