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Collaboration, Leadership and The salon.



Collaboration, Leadership and The salon.

In the salon or spa environment respect for each other, open communication and collaboration will enable the salon to function without distraction without the dysfunction. Avoid the chaos that can be created when respect is lost and chaos ensues in the form of staffing issues and poor management decisions that affect general morale. An openness with regard to salon / spa running and the big picture; a sharing of a vision; a willingness to listen and on occasion make changes based on feedback is all part of being respected but also about giving respect to those around you.


Ultimately this contributes to better salon management and a better working environment and so creates an atmosphere that works to the benefit of all concerned. Clients can and do pick up on this. Closely running side by side with respect is ‘Trust.’ Again, this is built. Without trust it’s really very hard to function and get anything done. To not be trusted or have trust in some one or some thing creates negativity it will slowly bring you or your business down.If this is an issue you really do need to spend some time to think it through. If it’s a person, a team mate, employee, ask the question why don’t you trust them? Can it be addressed!

Is it a situation that can be fixed? If not before making any tough decisions seek advice from those around you, those you respect ! If it’s something other than staff or personnel then it’s much easier however good it might be if it’s not working for you and you cannot get past trusting it get rid of it! Don’t waste time and energy on things that don’t warrant it.


Collaboration and trust

Without trust in a salon between every member of the team the decent can rapidly creep in, negative energy can be and is so destructive. If this is the case, get the counsel of those team members, work mates and managers that you respect and make decisions on how to address and deal with whatever situation has arisen. Don’t be hasty, consider the situation what created it. Decide on an informed course of action. This is so when choosing salon products, working with a trusted supplier or indeed employing or negotiating with staff and team members. Communication skills are an essential as in ability to listen.Finally, that vision. This is yours. In this case it’s that of your business but it can relate to any aspect of your life for each and everyone should have a vision.Once you have a clear vision, share it with those around you. Those you respect and trust. Make sure they share their own interpretation of this vision with you so that you are all working toward the same goal. By sharing your vision with team members you are not only sharing your vision for the future, you are also showing that you respect and trust them.



There is a synergy between the three words: respect, trust, vision. That synergy comes to fruition when put into action. When action starts to happen,things start to change, they start to progress. As this happens embark on constructive dialogue with team mates and staff members. Encourage new thoughts and innovative ideas that might help your vision become a reality for all those sharing it with you. Look at the challenge, the journey

More thoughts on collaboration

The salon. The challenges of team building. What works best for you? ‘Control’ or ‘collaboration?’ Can you let go of the reins of power? Or should you hold them tightly? Management, leadership and control or collaboration in the salon and in training facilities. Certainly not a normal topic for a hair related article but one worthy of discussion and one that I hope will be of interest to you and your team. Why a topic an leadership, management, and collaboration? Well I think that it’s a very relevant topic to look at for salon success and for stylist success. Certainly a topic that gets ignored yet one that can play such a key a role to successful team building encouraging creative and innovative thinking and sharing of ideas in the salon.

The ‘collaborative thinking’ suggested in this topic could so easily be employed by Colleges, Academies and Salons. To better the student, apprentice and trainee experience of our industry. Creative and innovative thinking!


The salon – our theatre

The hair salon; it’s our theatre. What is the salon but a stage. What are we but players in a play…the play being the unscripted play called ‘The salon today’. This scenario is played out daily starring the staff and clients. These unscripted scenes play out daily evolving as the interaction between client and stylist take place. Entertaining, challenging, rewarding, sometimes thought provoking. What ever the case, always different. As the day progresses so does the play. Some of the cast changes, be that stylist or clients but the play must go on.

On occasion this rhythm this natural flow can break down or be interrupted. It can create disharmony and negativity and can be created by an outside force or influence or an internal management decision, a disruptive disgruntled staff member.This can be very disturbing normally caused when some one is trying top hard, to be the director and producer. In this instance maybe an over zealous manager, maybe an owner who likes to have tight control over the salon and how it runs.

Letting go of the reins! This takes a bigger person. It demonstrates and coveys trust and respect to the team. A positive affirmation of trust in that shared vision and shared values. Leading by example.


Leadership and meetings

Leadership and management The key skills that I believe are so very important and contribute to making a salon or spa run more efficiently. Be aware this power with the wrong motivation can and will cause issues or problems. Good management and indeed leadership occurs when support is given to others on the team. Mentoring, training, encouragement. Providing individuals with the tools and environment to work, create, learn, most importantly, deliver great service. This becomes hindered when the motivation is not selfless.Team and group meetings

How often do you have team meetings? Ideas are kicked around, plans put in place for change and or improvement. How often is the right praise or recognition given to the right person? Appreciation, thanks, reward, incentive. Some times as managers and owners we forget that it takes many small parts to make the big picture work. Some times as manager and or department heads we can fail! How? Because we cannot let go, we have to have control, we have to be seen as the one holding everything together. We want and need constant approval and recognition for all that is achieved. This does not lend to a good working environment. It is to “Controlling


Control or collaboration

It takes a much braver person with a bigger vision to encourage collaboration for this means letting go of the reins. Collaboration creates ’empowerment,’ improves problem solving, increases creativity, encourages innovation. Why are so many businesses afraid of it? The short answer is that collaboration is dangerous! Collaboration means working beyond one’s immediate control. Scary ha! This may well sound quite threatening to some owners and managers. Maybe we can look at some reasons as to why. A sharing of thoughts, visions and ideas. It encourages us to step outside of our comfort zone and look beyond our own expertise. For this to really work a certain level of ambiguity has to be accepted by all.

The letting go of ‘control’ comes in to play because for collaboration to work hierarchy has to put to the side. An approach of being a ‘tribe of doing things’ needs to move in and being ‘chief of all answers’ needs to step down.This should open the doors for ‘thinking together’ problem solving, taking action; talk is not enough. Collaboration really only works when there is a flow of all information and dialogue and so progress between the group or team members. This might be hard for some but it’s key to the team and to the ‘collaborative thinking process’.


Collaboration review

Some times conflict can happen. This has to be addressed. It cannot be ignored. Avoiding it indicates that you don’t know how to fight or stand up effectively. Trade off and compromise are skills to learn and employ. Collaboration happens on top of or outside of normal work. It takes commitment, it can at times seem overwhelming and stressful. Sometimes we hear the phrase ‘Oh things would be so much better if we could just collaborate a little more’ But really it’s not that easy. How often is it put into practice? Collaboration is about friction, debate, forging of new ideas and ways to work better together. Owners and managers need to do more than just tell others what to do, they have to listen. Team members have to have a voice and use it. You cannot just point out ‘hey that’s broken’ and walk away! It has to be fixed. The fear by many is that an opinion will be asked for and that when given this opinion must be listened to.


This thinking may well not be right for all. ‘Leadership’ Is to bring this change about. One of direction and focus supported by and with ‘Fellowship,’ the supporting team ‘Collaborating together to bring about change and innovation. These efforts should be judged on outcomes. They offer no reward for individual merit but are about all working together for the common good.

Collaboration. Innovation. Creative thinking. All growing together, creating solutions. getting past the problems and asking the questions ‘How’ and’ Why.’ The rest follows. so yes to be continued!!!

Alter Ego Italy professional products are already having success in both the UK and all over Europe and its now ready to launch and be part of the Market in the USA. It’s offering all the things that I hold dear passion and commitment to salon training and support. It has the support from being just one part of a much bigger entity that is striving for success in the salon and hair industry.


The salon and the S word now available in book and e book format for links to purchase and reviews Click here or on the image.

The Salon & the ‘S’ Word

 Written by Mike Vallance

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