Stop Working on Autopilot

Jon Reyman Headshot

Every animal has three built-in primal responses: fight, flight, and freeze. Because humans are part of the animal kingdom, we turn to these same three responses when we’re not in a safe, nurturing environment. When we are operating out of this primal mode, it’s usually a sign of conflict, anxiety or distress.

In the right environment, these primal responses lie dormant. When we’re in a safe, collaborative and healthy competitive place, we can focus our attention on building our skills, communicating with others and making intelligent decisions that improve our lives. We’re able to do it because we’re not just reactive—we’re responsive. We are free to create something better and find solutions with more value and depth instead of just focusing on our own survival.

Today, many salon owners operate in survival mode. They react to situations and put out fires instead of having the freedom to collaborate with their team and build solutions together. So how do we move out of reactionary mode and into responsive mode? It starts by getting yourself out of isolation and working together with your team to solve problems instead of taking them on alone. And that can only happen in a supportive, healthy, competitive salon culture.

William Muir, an evolutionary biologist at Perdue University, conducted a study that measured the egg productivity two groups of chickens, an average flock and a flock of high-producers, or super chickens. The latter group pecked at each other until there were only three chickens left. Even though each chicken was strong and able, the environment wasn’t collaborative, so it became the opposite of productive. It became a disaster.

I’ve found that a good way to avoid knee-jerk reactions and move toward collaborative, responsive actions is by understanding your purpose. Our purpose at SPRx is to empower salon owners who empower their hairdressers who empower their guests. When you connect to your purpose, you can stay the course and not have to fight, fly or freeze—no matter what distress comes your way.

About: Jon Reyman, Co-founder of Salon Pro RX and Owner of Spoke & Weal Salons, has been a pioneer of change in the beauty industry for the past 20 years. He’s introduced a comprehensive online technical library for beauty professionals and salon owners with more than 900 educational videos, and has launched salons in five cities. Jon’s work and salons have been featured in publications and outlets such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Allure, Refinery 29, E! and Access Hollywood.