Management Practices

What if Employees Were Like Family?

Christine Zilinski | September 29, 2014 | 10:01 AM

What if Employees Were Like Family?I am in discovery mode every day. Recently, I have been working hard on connecting to my team differently—to  be more present, to listen more.

Many of us, myself included, like to be busy. “What's next?!” is my favorite line! But my focus right now is how do I slow down and actually feel what is happening with my connections?

Recently a member of the team came to me, very concerned that a fellow team member was not in “the game,” was on her cell phone during work hours, and wasn’t focused on what was happening on the floor.

Ordinarily I would have put my manager hat on and rode to the rescue with a serious agenda to let the disengaged team member have it. Instead, I thought to myself, “This individual is going through a hard time right now. How can I show up and support her, let her know that the team needs her?”

So that’s what I did. I sat with her, let her know that I cared, that I was concerned about her. I can remember being there, not too long ago: boyfriend issues, not knowing my self-worth, confused about the future. These are real issues. How could I add value to this person and guide her to success?

At the end of our conversation she hugged me, we both cried and let each other know we cared about one another and were grateful to have a relationship. What I liked most about this experience was that she understood, on a different level, that she wasn't showing up for her team. Letting her have it wouldn’t have worked.

Author and motivational speaker, Simon Sinek talks about never firing your employees.  When I first watched a video of him saying, "What if our employees were like family and we could never fire them!”  I was like, “Whaaaat?!”

I realize now what he means. What if we showed up, with genuine concern, real care for what they’re feeling and thinking? How different our perspective would be.

This change, for me, has been a gift. I now wake up in the morning and think to myself “Whom can I serve? To whom can I add value?” What I love most about this new perspective is that it is letting me enjoy this journey.  I am having fun and starting to find joy in the process.

In addition to owning Salon Concrete, Christine Zilinski is a nationwide industry educator and salon culture coach, who helps salons create healthy, positive and thriving environmenst by establish a foundation based on core values and a commitment to overall salon goals.  For more information, contact, visit or email her at [email protected] 

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