Master body language to manage your salon team

I stumbled across this TED Talk video by Allan Pease and immediately wanted to share it with you. It could make running your salon business so much easier. I’ve popped the video at the end of this blog.

To succeed as a hair or beauty business you need to win people over, get them to co-operate and follow your instructions.

Sound about right?

Then try this…


Body language speaks louder than words

Allan shows how just the palms of our hands can persuade and coax, or irritate and alienate, in team meetings, with clients and even at home.

Yes, you read that correctly: the palms of our hands.

Did you know there are more connections between your brain and the palms of your hands than any other body part?

Allan Pease is no smarmy sales guy. An Honorary Professor of Psychology at ULIM International University, he teaches simple, but crucial, business body language skills in a fun way.


Let your hands do the talking

Are your hands sending out the wrong message?

We’ve all been in that team meeting. You’re bursting with excitement about a new marketing campaign but your team stare at the ground, avoid eye-contact and look grumpy.

It’s like wading through treacle. It’s disheartening. You feel embarrassed, then flustered, and want to say “Beam me up, Scotty” and disappear.

Been there?

Good news:

There may be a simple answer says global body language expert Allan Pease.

Look down at your hands.

Yep, your hands.

Are they on-side? Helping you convince and inspire your team, or letting you down big time?


Your salon team in the palm of your hand

Did you know your hands alone have the power to silently communicate more than your words?

Next time you’re talking to your team or a client just clock what you do with your hands. It’s likely to be one of these three:

  1. palms facing up
  2. palms facing down
  3. clenched fist


1. Palms up non-verbal communication

For centuries, and across many cultures, an open palm has been associated with honesty, sincerity and good faith.

It’s a gesture that asks for cooperation and trust. Both Tony Blair and President Obama used this non-verbal communication frequently and well.

Make it work for you

  • Next time you ask your team to support your new marketing campaign keep your palms up and watch their response.
  • Suggest that new anti-ageing treatment or recommend a retail product to your client keeping your palms up and she is much more likely to say yes.
  • Use the body language tips in this blog as the basis for a team training session to ensure they make the right impression with your hair or beauty clients.


2. Palms down are authoritative

In the video Allan demonstrates that by using the same words and tone of voice but just turning your hands over so the palms face down turns a suggestion into an order.

They will view it as authoritative, an order and feel uncomfortable. It’s signalling shut up and listen – I’m in control. Not surprising they stare at the floor, shuffle and look grumpy at your exciting new marketing idea.

Hitler understood the power of body language to manipulate

Hitler used a palm down gesture for his salute. As Allan says try doing a Nazi salute with an upturned palm and immediately it loses its menacing, controlling and aggressive connotations.

It gets better:

Research shows that by talking to your salon team with your palms up, they are likely to retain 40% more than if you use palms down.

Why? Because with your palms down they are too busy judging you and feeling irritated about being ordered about, so they stop listening. It’s that simple.

Think what a difference you could make to a salon training session. Not only will your team retain significantly more but they will be much more likely to do it.

Hiding your palms is a sign someone doesn’t want to communicate with you. Ever had a team member thrust their hands into their pockets when you’re asking them to do something? Now you know why.


3. The clenched fist non-verbal sign

The clenched fist beneath the pointing finger goes further than the palms down gesture. It’s accusatory, derogatory and can communication ridicule. Just look at Alan Sugar’s jabbing finger on The Apprentice which says so much more than his words, “You’re fired!”

“Don’t point it’s rude” was drummed into most of us as children. It is a highly negative gesture and used with the palm down non-verbal in a team situation is going to create tension, discontent and ensure people dig their heels in.

And because they feel so alienated by your body language your team (or client) will retain very little of what you say. So not only are you winding them up, they’re not even taking onboard what you’re telling them.

Not a recipe for successful leadership.

Trump’s finger and thumb gesture

Donald Trump has clearly been advised to avoid the clenched fist/pointing finger which comes naturally to him. Instead he’s adopted (when he remembers) squeezing his finger and thumb. Body language experts confirm this is just a diluted version of the clenched fist point and still has the potential to imply ridicule, negativity and aggression.

Salon success through body language

Salon success is all about getting people to “buy” you.

Whether it’s persuading your team to embrace your systems and standards, or persuading a client to try a course of treatments, if they buy you, the chances are they’ll buy what you want them to do.

Have a cracking idea that will benefit them? If you take a palms down or pointed finger approach people feel threatened and intimidated, and will be busy judging you rather than listening to what you have to say.

But adopt palms up body language and they are more likely to co-operate and retain what you’re saying. You increase your chances of success and change how your clients and team perceive you just by tweaking your hand movements.


Watch these salon body language ideas in action…

Enough said…

Take a look at this cracking training session from global body language expert Allan Pease (jump in just before 5 minutes if you’re in a rush, or watch from the start and learn more about handshakes too).

What you’ll learn will make your salon team more biddable, your clients love you and even your bank manager want to say yes.


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