Leadership is defined as the art of motivating a group of people to act toward achieving a common goal. In a salon business setting, this can mean directing staff and colleagues with a strategy to meet the company needs.
When faced with salon problems, true leaders look inwards and focus on their own abilities and shortcomings. There are always areas of improvement for salon leaders. When you want to empower and inspire your team, you will naturally discover that this starts by accepting that self-accountability is the foundation of becoming a great team leader.
Leadership skills are important in any business, since they facilitate strong teams with the ability to get tasks done efficiently. Whatever your natural strengths are, continuing to develop leaderships skills is a must when managing a team and aspiring to run a financially successful business.
Developing leadership skills will also allow you to grow as a person. It is an empowering process of harnessing your natural talents to inspire others. You will become very aware of your strengths and weaknesses, creating a high level of self-awareness, making you very effective in daily team communications.
What’s your ‘Leadership Style’?
Understanding your leadership style helps to create managerial skills that are aligned with your own nature and personality. Is your leadership approach democratic, visionary, coaching, task focused or commanding? When you have a sense of where you fall in these categories, you are better equipped to learn how to improve your leadership skills.
Leadership styles come with natural personal strengths and weaknesses, but, rather than accepting these traits as fixed, develop a growth mindset and commit to continuous self-improvement.
Areas of improvement to consider are:
Building empathy: are you empathetic to others’ needs and feelings or do you focus solely on your own? Putting others first is essential to building rapport and inspiring your team to follow you.
Improving communication skills: setting expectations and boundaries, providing clear goals and direction while keeping your team in the loop are all part of creating and leading effective teams.
Making tough decisions: you must be confident in your ability to make tough decision, always putting the needs of the business first.
Stop micromanagement: an inability to delegate routine day to day tasks is one of the most common areas salon owners need to let go of.
Learn to give constructive feedback: it is very tempting for team leaders to limit feedback to the positive. But, if you want business success, you cannot ignore problems within your team and you must learn to give the negative feedback in as positive a manner as possible.
To improve Leadership Skills:
- Make a plan
With a clear idea of your leadership strengths and weaknesses, you are ready to take massive action by making a game plan aligned with your leadership style. For example, if you identified a lack of confidence in your abilities as a weakness, then take steps to build self-confidence. Or, if you identified communication as a weakness, start practicing effective communication techniques. With practice, you will begin to improve your leadership skills, leading to salon success.
- Learn to be passionate
When you display honest enthusiasm and passion for the desired end result, your team will keep working to achieve their goals too. The right employees respond to those who are eager to help them learn and grow. Always be passionate about your business, including your efforts at developing leaderships skills and you will be surrounded by a very inspired team.
- Give great example
Teams will respect managers who walk the talk. It is your job to inspire others into taking the best action to achieve salon goals. A core characteristic of transformational leaders is the ability to be a role model – show those around you exactly what you’d like to see them do and how you would like them to behave.
- Embrace your strengths
An understanding of your weaknesses provides you with areas you know you can improve, but a strong knowledge of your innate gifts and abilities means you can put them to great use immediately. You can then continue to build on your strengths.
- Set and achieve goals
While you are continuing to develop your leadership skills, remember to invest time in clarifying your goals and plot your plans to get there. Formulating the right plan and setting meaningful benchmarks gives you a map to follow and a methodology to guide your salon business through the next week, month, year and so on.
- Accept failure and move on
Being an effective leader doesn’t mean never making mistakes – in fact it is often the opposite. When you realise you have made an error, accept it, admit it openly and take action to correct it. Be open and honest about your failures: discuss them with yourself and your team. Learn from them and ask yourself ‘how can I avoid making this mistake again in the future’?
Learning from failures sends a powerful message to your team. They understand that you are able to lead well, even when you make mistakes.
While working on improving your leadership skills, learn how to recognise successes and failures.
- Inspire others
A team member who feels you do not believe in them will not perform well and this can create a domino effect of poor morale across the business. Instead, believe in your team and what they are capable of. Developing your leadership skills throughout your salon business by generating and focusing positive energy is the secret to sustained growth.
When developing your leadership skills, it is essential to remember why you are putting time and effort into your chosen goals. What is driving you? By identifying precisely why you want to become a better leader you can become a more confident, knowledgeable and empowering manager for your team, while strengthening the efforts you put into your own personal goals. Those around you will see the hard work and passion you bring to the business each day, encouraging them to be the best they can be at their salon roles.