A woman sitting at a desk displaying leadership skills.

Mastering Salon Leadership Skills

Are you a salon owner? Or do you aspire to be a salon manager? Mastering great salon leadership skills are essential for salon owners and managers to promote business growth and achieve success. This article explores the core skills needed for leadership development.

What Is Salon Leadership?

Salon Leadership is the art of motivating your salon team to pursue a common goal.  Leaders should possess skills that set direction, create innovative visions, and guide their team towards meeting these visions. In addition, they should strive to provide a harmonious and conflict-free environment.  An effective leader needs strong communication and management skills, along with the ability to remain calm and in control during a crisis.  Even though some people are born natural leaders, leadership skills can be taught and cultivated over time.

What is NOT Salon leadership.

a woman looking at a computer and avoiding salon leadership.

Salon Leadership is not:

  • About you and your needs.
  • Sitting back while everyone else does all the work.
  • Abuse of power in any way.
  • Controlling or micromanaging your staff.
  • Going it alone and failing to delegate.
  • Ignoring suggestions, solutions or avoiding collaboration.
  • Thinking you know everything.
  • About stoking your ego.
  • Passing the buck and avoiding taking responsibility.

“Leaders become great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others”. 

Honesty

Leading your salon business with honesty and integrity is a great way to build strong connections with your salon team.  Fostering a sense of honesty by your actions and ethics is a valuable asset in any environment.  Gaining the respect of your staff is an important ingredient in a well-managed salon.  It’s pretty simple really, if you want to be trusted, be honest!

A line with pegs and notes that say honesty, trust and respect for salon leadership skills

Humility

Humility is the quality of being humble.  It means putting aside your ego and being aware that you don’t know it all. Looking down on your staff or being condescending does not create a healthy work environment. By showing humility as a leader, you are viewed as more approachable and relatable.  Letting your staff know that they can come to you for help or advice can really encourage personal and skill growth.  Treating your staff with empathy and support is a powerful tool to drive motivation and encourage open communication.

A text box "humility is concerned with what is right.

Decisiveness

Making difficult decisions in a decisive manner is an important quality for any salon leader.  However, the right decision may not always be the easiest choice. It takes courage and a willingness to put your neck on the line.  Good leaders make a choice, commit to it and also take the fall if it is the wrong choice.  Every good salon leader knows that poor decisions do happen.  Nobody is 100% right all the time.  True salon leadership is the ability to accept you made a poor decision, dust yourself off, take accountability and learn from your mistakes. Furthermore, leaders should be striving to improve all the time and unfortunately, that requires mistakes.

“Good Decisions come from experience and experience comes from bad decisions”.

Communication

Good communication skills are one of the foundations of good salon leadership.   Effective communication is a crucial aspect of the salon industry.  Whether it’s between clients and staff, staff to staff or staff to management.  Good communication skills are at the core of a successful salon.  

Communicating the core values of your business and ensuring they are understood may sound simple but is often overlooked in many salons.   The communication culture in a salon is also of significant importance.  Do you conduct regular meetings?  Many salons do not have meetings but they are a great way to touch bases with staff, address any conflicts or issues or re-enforce targets and goals. To read more on how to deal with salon conflict go to https://www.getneko.com/salon-drama-how-to-manage-staff-conflicts/

Listening is also a great and often under-utilised communication tool.  You can really get to the heart of a matter by giving your staff some air time and really showing them you care by actively listening. Not just listening to respond, but listening to understand.

A man with big ears for good listening and communication skills.

Another great tool for salon leadership is learning the art of non-verbal communication. Reading body language and taking note of peoples reactions can really make a difference in ensuring understanding and willingness.

To learn how to use non-verbal communication in your salon, go to https://www.getneko.com/how-to-use-non-verbal-communication-in-your-salon/

Innovation

A good leader knows that doing the same thing and following the same routine is a recipe for stagnation.  As a salon owner, you dont want your business to stagnate but to grow and prosper.  Keeping abreast of current trends and technology requires a manager to have their finger on the pulse of the salon industry.  Conducting research into new and innovative products and treatments may just give you the edge you need over your competitors.  

“Innovation is the change that unlocks new value”

Innovative salon leaders inspire enthusiasm and motivation by creating visions that excite staff and foster their passion.  A good innovative leader will create paths for staff to follow, ensuring proper implementation.  After all, a good idea is nothing without a plan.  

Using innovative ways to improve teamwork leads to increased productivity and higher levels of output. Moreover, satisfied employees lead to less employee turnover, satisfied customers, increased customer retention, and a higher standard of work. In addition, better work ethic, fewer days off, a willingness to improve and meet goals but most of all a positive and happy work environment. To read more on how to build a motivated team go to https://www.getneko.com/how-to-build-a-motivated-salon-team/

Implementing innovative marketing campaigns is also something a great leader should always be working on, or at least delegating if this is not their area of expertise.  

Delegation

A salon worker that can delegate jobs.

The ability to know when to delegate is an essential skill of a good leader.  

A good salon leader can’t do everything and also can’t be expected to be innovative and inspiring when they are constantly busy with menial tasks.  

Assigning specific tasks to staff members according to their skill level and ability can produce great results.  These responsibilities that are taken on by staff members often inspire commitment and empower staff to strive to do better. 

Let the creative people create and the more business-orientated take on more administration tasks.  Monitor the performance of your staff but avoid micromanaging.  Staff excel when they feel supported and are able to work with autonomy.  https://hbr.org/2017/10/to-be-a-great-leader-you-have-to-learn-how-to-delegate-well

Tracking the performance of your staff is easy with Nekos reporting tools.  You can access any type of report relating to your staff at the touch of a button. This allows you to see what is working and what isn’t. https://www.getneko.com/home/features/reporting/

Outsourcing may also be a form of delegation that a salon leader may consider.  Do you need someone to manage your website or social media campaigns? Do you lack knowledge in a certain area?  Delegating these tasks gives you the wiggle room to do what needs to be done to improve upon your business and ensure success.  Using Neko salon software is also a form of delegation as paperwork becomes a thing of the past and the automation of your salon provides a much smoother and streamlined business experience. 

Imagine just printing out an end of day sales report or taking online bookings to free up your front desk duties.  Using Neko has many features that can make your job easier, giving you time more time to provide the best salon leadership possible. https://www.getneko.com/home/features/online-bookings/

A computer screen with Neko booking calendar displayed.

Conclusion

Salon leadership is definitely a skill you can strive to improve upon. It may not come easy to you, so try to think of your leadership skills like a muscle, the more you use them the stronger they become.

It is equally important to know what leadership skills are not so you can strive to avoid them.

A good leader will lead by example, while embracing qualities such as honesty, humility and decisiveness.

Working on good communication can really improve the culture of your salon while cementing great relationships and fostering a harmonious environment.

Delegation is an important skill that requires thought and understanding of yourself and your employees expertise. Delegating the right jobs to the right people is paramount to a well run salon business.

Innovation requires effort and creativeness to think outside the box, or even throw the box away. Innovation keeps the salon environment current and promotes enthusiasm from staff.

Well, I hope you have a greater understanding of salon leadership that will help you master this important skill.

At Neko, we enjoy imparting useful business knowledge to our clients. So if you have any particular topics you would like to read about. Let us know by commenting below.

If your Salon isn’t already using Neko Salon Software, its time to get on board so you can streamline your business and focus on improving your salon leadership skills.  

Why not try it for yourself. Sign up today for a free 14-day trial. https://www.getneko.com/free-trial/

Free email support is provided as part of every subscription, so getting started is super easy.  

Already using another software system? No worries, we will migrate all your data into our system so you are ready to go. 

Neko Salon Software is the simple and affordable key to making your business brilliant.

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