Monday, January 18, 2010

The Art Of Communication: What to say...When to say it...How to say it!

Have you ever been in a meeting or a one on one conversation and wished you could take back what you said?

Do you find that you tend to avoid ‘difficult’ conversations for fear of looking bad or not having the right answers?

Have you every said to yourself, “I wish I just had a script for what to say?”

If you are like most salon and spa owners you’ve probably found yourself in one or all of the above situations at some point in your career. Many of us avoid those situations for reasons such as; fear of failing, not looking/being smart enough, feeling to vulnerable and the list could go on. Successfully navigating your way through conversations requires practice and patience.

I’ve outlined a process that we use when coaching our clients and it can be applied to every conversation. I call the process the REPEAT and FLIP game. This is a very useful tool in clarifying what the real problem is. It begins with a challenge and you repeat back what you heard them say and ask two key questions over and over until you get to the heart of the situation: “Why?” and “What’s stopping you?”

For example: A technician says, “I never get new clients, they always go to someone else on the team.”

Now follow the process…REPEAT back what you heard them say and then FLIP their question and ask it right back. It could go something like…

What I hear you saying is that you never get new clients because they are always going to other team members.

Why don’t you think you receive any new clients?
(Tech answers: Because you don’t like me)

Why else? (Because there are too many new people and not enough walkins)

What’s stopping you from going out to get your own business? (I’m uncomfortable and don’t want to sound pushy)

Why? (Because I don’t know what to say)

As an owner you’ve now gained insight into the real problem. There is a deeper issue and it relates to training. This technician doesn’t have the necessary tools to effectively and confidently build their business. Had you not asked enough questions you would not have gotten to the heart of the problem. Now you have an opportunity to coach and help them to succeed. Your job is to keep digging until you get to the heart of the problem. Ultimately people need to be heard and held accountable. Following this process can accomplish both.

In this example we used a challenge that is typical of team members.
For the sake of developing the skill set-up uncovering the “real” challenge, take a moment to identify one of the challenges that you face as an owner. Do the work for yourself as it will help to further develop the skill to enable you to walk team members through their own challenges when the time comes.

For more help on communicating effectively contact a Milady coach at 1-800-998-7498 x 2700.

No comments: