Management Practices

Finding the Right Salon Coach

Stacey Soble | July 10, 2011 | 5:12 PM

At some point in our careers, we all face an obstacle or change that we cannot overcome alone. Though difficult to reach out for help, it is even more difficult to find the right kind of help from the hundreds of salon and spa business consultants hanging shingles on the internet. Sherry Minnard, professional content development manager for Miladay, suggests you narrow your search to a smaller group of professionals who consider themselves coaches, for you and your business.

"The best business coaches today understands that you cannot leave yourself at home while you build and conduct business in the salon. You travel with your emotional baggage everywhere," she says. "It is obvious then, that your business is affected at every level by the condition of your emotional health. Finding a salon and spa business coach that is seasoned, ethical and deeply trained at the intersection business and life skills a chore, until you realize that all coaches are not the same."

Situational Leadership
Minnard recommends using the Situational Leadership Model, developed by Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hershey in the 1970s, as a guide to ensure accuracy in your selection. Blanchard and Hershey discovered that there are several different types and stages of leaders, each with a unique type of motivation. So, a business coach that is perfect for you, my not be perfect for someone else with a different leadership style. Use the analysis below to discover which type of coach would be best for you. Find your current leadership style or where you are on your journey, then read which type of coach would best fit your style.

Leadership Style or Stage: Enthusiastic Beginner
Early career owners who lack competence but who are excited and committed. May also be an owner who for some reason is lacking motivation or skill. She needs direction and supervision to get her started.

Business Coach Match: Telling/Directing Coach
Will focus on tasks to get the leader behaving the right way. Low relationship focus. Coach defines the roles and tasks of the manager, and supervises him/her closely. Decision are made unilaterally by the coach, so communication is largely one-way. Few coaches use this style because it can feel so impersonal, but the clarity of this style can be helpful to an owner who needs immediate guidance and results. If the coach is too focused on building the relationship with the owner at this stage, the owner may become confused about what must be done and what is optional.

Leadership Style or Stage: Disillusioned Learner

Owner has developed some level of competence at her job, but perhaps displays a variable level of commitment. She may also be over-confident about her abilities. The owner at this level needs direction and supervision, but she also needs praise to build her self-esteem and involvement in decision-making to restore her commitment. She needs to be gently sold on another way of working rather than being directly told what to do, which may result in resistance.

Business Coach Match: Selling Coach
High-task focus plus high-relationship focus. The coach still defines roles and tasks, but seeks ideas and suggestions from the follower. Decisions remain the leader's prerogative, but communication is much more two-way.

Leadership Style or Stage: Capable But Cautious Performer

Owner tends to have high competence but variable commitment, perhaps due to insecurities. The owner does not need much direction because of her skills.

Business Coach Match: Participating/Supporting Coach
This level features low-task focus paired with high-relationship focus. Coaches begin to pass responsibility for day-to-day decisions to owners. the key to this type/stage of coaching is motivation. The coach must spend time listening and looking for the key to motivating this particular owner. Support is necessary to bolster owner's confidence and motivation.

Leadership Style of Stage: Self-Reliant Achiever

The owner can do the job and is motivated, and seeks the input of the coach on the rare occasions when it is warranted.

Business Coach Match: Delegating/Observing Coach
Low-task focus and low-relationship focus. Is still involved in decisions and problem-solving, but control now rests with the owner, so the coach can mostly stay out of the way, while still offering an occasional booster shot of praise and recognition.

Effective and seasoned coaches are versatile in being able to move through the different styles according to the situation, so there is no style that is always right. By finding the right coach to suit your development level and style, your personal and professional skills are increased at a rapid rate. And most importantly, everyone you touch benefits--like a ripple effect.

Sherry Minnard, a professional content development manager with Milady, is a leading expert in the development of creative processes for rapidly acquiring and implementing new knowledge. She partners with salon and spa owners to create exciting education solutions. A passion for enhancing opportunities for profitable innovation has been the driving focus of her career in organizational development and information design, and the subject of her publications, lectures and training programs. CLICK HERE for more information on Milady's consulting and product offerings or call 800-998-7498, Ext. 2700.

Finding the Right Salon Coach
Identifying which leadership stage you are in helps you learn what kind of coach best suits your needs.

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