Sound Advice from Arnold Zegarelli

One of the questions I’m asked most frequently is, “How can I motivate my people?” Let’s start with the definition of motivation. It is an inner force based on a reason for compelling movement. In other words, if a person wants to move towards a desired outcome, they have to first choose not to stay where they are, even though it may be in their comfort zone. To be more specific, the best way to motivate anyone is to find out what they like to do, want to do and are naturally good at. Take a sincere interest in your staff by observing, listening and evaluating their performance or behavior. One of the best ways to motivate your staff is to set a good example. Here are some suggestions to get people moving in the right direction.

1. Ask for the Performance You Want Don’t just tell people what you want, tell them why you want it and what’s in it for them.

2. Set a Good Example Be a role model, mentor, coach or someone who has achieved a desirable image, income or status.


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3. Ask for Their Help It makes them feel important and needed.

4. Positive Reinforcement Catch them doing something right and sincerely praise them for it.

5. Appeal to the Child in a Person Offer fun, excitement and new experiences.

6. They Should Be Part of a Team It’s an important psychological factor of belonging.

7. Establish Friendly Competition Contests, charts, merit badges, recognition and progress charts will help keep them on track.

8. Promotion or Growth This is the next level of responsibility and achievement.

9. Have the Person Help Set the Goal Involve them and they will feel obligated to achieve what they promised.

10. Have Clearly Defined Progress Reports Let the person track their progress and let them know that you appreciate their effort.

11. Enlist Their Help Tell the person your goal and ask how they can help you achieve it. Listen to them and then let them know that you can depend on them to go the extra mile. 

Arnold Zegarelli is director of education at Izzazu Salon, Spa & Serata in Pittsburgh, where he’s been dispensing sound advice to help hairdressers become more successful for years.