Things go wrong in business every day; customers complain, stock doesn’t arrive, staff call in sick. But all of that feels like a walk in the park compared to what our salons are going through at the moment. And in times of crisis, team members look to their leader. That’s you. And how you react is what will define the strength of your leadership.
There are four leadership skills that are imperative at a time of crisis, to help you – and your team – navigate your way through it.
Showing that you can adapt to any new rules or restrictions will give your staff confidence that they can too. Whether that’s working from home or standing down for a while, or eventually, re-opening the salon with whatever government restrictions are in place, the way you face up to the situation will speak volumes. “Showing confidence in steering your ship will endure that your staff confidently come along for the ride with you,” says clinical psychologist Jan Grace. “Even more, involving your team and taking on their feedback will also them to feel heard and validated.”
You know what doesn’t instil confidence? A boss having an anxiety attack. That’s not to say that your anxiety isn’t peaking at the moment, because it probably is, but managing to keep it under control is pretty important for the sake of your team. “Your feelings are important and valid,” says Jan. “These are scary times, and you’re naturally fearing for your business, your livelihood and your staff. That’s normal. That’s human. But what your staff needs is to see you breathing through it. Be human, and by that, I mean you don’t need to be emotionless, but also be calm, and steady.”
Remain in boss mode
Everything is different; none of us are even in the same room. But you’re still in charge and that is going to be a comfort to your team. Keep it professional, don’t carry out Zoom meetings in your PJs, and be direct with what you need from your team. “Your staff need some form of consistency and let’s face it, nothing is consistent at the moment,” says Jan. “What they can rely on, is your leadership and your directive. That’s going to be a comfort.”
Do not disappear simply because the doors to your salon are closed and your staff have been stood down. Your staff need you to update them on any changes, confirm what you’re doing to ensure the business – and their jobs – will be safe, and that you’re still looking out for them. “Send emails, texts, host video conference calls. Whatever it takes, gets some face time in, even though you’re apart. Keeping your staff in the loop is what they need right now.”
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