We talk a lot about teamwork in a salon, but thatâ€™s because itâ€™s so important. When I visit salons, I see that the best ones have a great sense of everyone working togetherâ€”many voices but a single heart.
Think of the movie The Great Escape: How many people did it take to build that tunnel? Yet the word never leaked out. Thatâ€™s why it succeeded. In the salon, we may not experience quite that level of pressure and challenge, but we still accomplish a lot more when we complete each other than when we compete with each other. Working together precedes winning together.
It starts with having a supportive attitude, not a suspicious one. If I show you how you can do a color service for my client while Iâ€™m on vacation, will the client stay with you? Itâ€™s easy to think that way, but thereâ€™s no room for suspicion on a supportive team. The big picture is that youâ€™ll all have more business if you look at each other as collaborators, not competitors.
Some of the artists who surround me do hair better than I do in some ways. On stage I always like to give the other artists credit for creating the looks they do, even if theyâ€™re working backstage only. When Iâ€™m on the road, I perceive us as one unit. I try to figure out everyoneâ€™s strengths and weaknesses and always ask, â€œWhile Iâ€™m here with you these next three days and weâ€™re preparing for a show, what can I do for you?â€ When you take that approach, you attract the best talent because good people want to work with you. In the end we have a higher quality show to present.
Further, a team culture encourages everyone to grow professionally. Instead of focusing on why something canâ€™t be done, youâ€™ll begin to ask how it can be doneâ€”because even if you donâ€™t see a solution maybe someone else has a good idea for you. Opening yourself to other peopleâ€™s ideas is what helps you grow. Thereâ€™s danger in staying in your comfort zone. When we achieve the result we want, we tend to stick like a postage stamp to that method and that result. But thatâ€™s exactly when we should try something new. Once you can do it with your eyes closed, find something new to master. Then youâ€™ll always have one foot in your comfort zone and one foot out of it. Be willing to pitch in without worrying about who gets the credit.
Thatâ€™s why team players have the easiest time adapting to changing conditions, fashions and techniques. Theyâ€™re always ready to learn the next lessonâ€”to accept coaching as well as to coach others. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape!
Sam Villa has more than 25 years experience as a platform artist and educator for major salon professional companies. Part of the Redken family for the past 11 years, Sam is Redkenâ€™s Education Artistic Director and Design & Training Consultant and appears on redken.com as a spokesperson for consumer consultations. He is in constant demand at international and domestic trade shows and in-salon programs, where his progressive teaching approach enables stylists to absorb new techniques quickly and for practical use in the salon. In 2008, Sam launched his website, www.samvilla.com, along with his own brand of digital media education and styling tools for salon professionals.