I’m currently reading ‘Gravitas‘ by Caroline Goyder, a fascinating book on how to communicate with confidence, influence and authority.

She devotes a whole chapter to how to get what you want from meetings.

One-to-one meetings with individual team members are a common source of concern and worry for many salon owners. Indeed, many business owners – it’s not just peculiar to the hair and beauty industry.

 

Better one-to-one sessions lead to better salon experiences for your clients

Regular one-to-one meetings with individual team members are fundamental to:

Meetings are supposed to change things and to achieve action. Yet too often we end up with issues un-aired or with people battling it out and becoming wound up.

Goyder reminded me of the power of open questions to help direct a one-on-one employee meeting and avoid unproductive lecturing.

A coaching style of conversation is usually best for one-to-one sessions. But if you’re squeezing one-on-ones in between salon clients and feeling rushed and hassled it can be difficult to get into the right questioning mindset.

 

The power of questions in a meeting

So here are Goyder’s example questions which can be adapted for a one-to-one meeting to ensure you achieve the change of behaviour or attitude you’re seeking from your employee.

As Claude Levi-Strauss astutely commented:

The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he poses the right questions.

To open the discussion

  • What do you think of this?
  • What do we know?
  • What does this mean for the salon/the team/the client?

To clarify existing beliefs, to challenge assumptions, to take a salon employee into a different way of thinking, to open minds…

  • Is there a different viewpoint?
  • What are we assuming here?
  • If we didn’t assume this, what would be different?

To dig deeper

  • What’s the evidence to support this?
  • What’s the underlying intention?
  • What’s the cause?

To explore consequences

  • What would happen if?
  • Why is this important?
  • What questions do we need to ask about this?

 

Listen carefully to your salon employees

Of course, you need to be aware of the flip side of the Questions Tool.

Your salon employee needs to feel acknowledged and heard. To achieve this you need to really listen and pay attention to their replies.

Don’t fake it. Show your interest in your eyes but don’t overdo the head nodding and uh-humming says Goyder or you’ll just come over as insincere.

And finally, if you’d like some more ideas on what makes a successful salon owner try this short video.