The human brain is an intricate organ. It is the command center for everything we think, feel and do. While the two sides of a human brain look very much alike, there’s a huge difference in how they process information. Some may already be familiar with the left-brain versus right-brain theory, but, for those who need a refresher, it goes as follows: The theory tells us that people display either left-brained or right-brained traits, meaning that one side of their brain is dominant. Those who are analytical and methodical in their thinking are said to be left-brained. Those who are more creative, or artistic, are referred to as right-brained.
So, when we think of beauty industry “creatives” such as stylists, educators and owners, most are inclined to consider them on the right side of the “brain” spectrum. Seasoned salon owners realize that magic can happen when the artistic, imaginative, intuitive passion of a right-brained beauty professional is revolutionized through analytical linear thinking. The collision of free-spirited, or idiosyncratic, talent with savvy business smarts and a logical mindset creates a powerful force, one to be reckoned with.
Harnessing brain power is a beautiful thing in theory, but how can it actually happen?
Here are some of my proven methods to ensure that salon owners know how to make the most of every “creative” on the salon team, keeping them focused, organized, and ready to take on the world.
- Discover stylists’ visions and dreams. Find what they want to achieve. What is their “why,” or statement of purpose. They have to have a purpose and a reason to go to work every day, and not just that they “love doing hair.” Perhaps they want to buy a home, or be debt-free, or even become a platform artist. There always has to be something they are striving for or working toward. Vision takes the droll, mundane vibe out of the day to day, and replaces it with excitement—all while building financial stability. Refocusing artistic talent to become more goal-oriented is key.
- Build an environment your stylists WANT to stay in. It is pivotal to create a feeling of belonging and a certain knowingness that the entire team is being heard. Owners need to establish and reinforce the foundations that are the driving force of the salon. Each and every day, remind the team why they are doing what they do. The salon environment should be one of respect and understanding, one where everyone is courteous and accepting of personal and professional differences. Also, fostering a workplace where core values are well-established makes it more commonplace for people to work well as a team.
- Develop team members’ strengths. It’s like any other relationship in life in that you have to keep it exciting; you have to be mindful. You have to harness the power of the thing you love doing the most, and use that to achieve goals and dreams. Owners should establish processes and systems that bring the team’s visions to life. People tend to beat themselves up when it comes to what they don’t do well. A good owner knows to refocus their thinking toward what they have mastered, boosting their confidence and encouraging them to achieve even more; however, don’t enable stagnant performance. Make sure everyone understands goals, objectives and accountability.
- Learn, and work with, the salon team’s core values. When you know what character traits anchor your stylists, you are better equipped to help shape their success. The principles or beliefs that they hold most dear (whether kindness, calmness, balance, ambition, flexibility, wealth or security) will act as a compass to help guide them toward living the amazing life they want. When stylists realize and embrace core values, it can improve their decision-making, productivity and goal achievements. Perhaps most importantly, it helps them see the value in themselves. (Yes, that’s kind of a “big deal”).
Think of learning a goal-oriented mindset like training wheels for a bike; it instills confidence in a new skill. It will take time to build upon what’s easy, and then begin learning more advanced skills. Once analytical skills are realized, and the team is capable of adopting them as daily practices, it’s time to integrate the new skill set into the day-to-day culture of the salon. When right-brained, easily distracted, curious and oh-so-lovable stylists start to focus on the details, they learn the value of playing to their strengths, and can broaden their horizons. It takes a strong commitment to master a “left-brained” analytical skill set, but stay focused and the rewards will follow!