What is our job, ultimately – what are we there for?
It certainly isn’t about getting the results ourselves – that is a weak business. A
strong business is when the results are coming from others.
I remember being at a seminar once - it had nothing to do with hairdressing, so when
the keynote speaker mentioned hairdressers, my ears pricked up. The seminar was
specifically for small and medium sized businesses and this speaker was outlining
what he felt was the fundamental problem within many small companies.
He said that if a hairdresser wanted to open up their own business, his advice would
be that they should open up something like an auto exhaust fitting business!
His reasoning went like this – he said that he hadn’t met many hairdressers in his life
that he thought would be very good at fitting exhausts on to cars (I know – another
stereotype, but probably true!)
Therefore, if they opened up an exhaust fitting service they would have to employ
people who could do that job and then manage them and the business to get good
results. However, he continued, of course that wouldn’t happen, the hairdresser
would open up a salon, and then end up working in the business - doing hair -
because they can.
We need to learn how to work on the business as well as in it, was what he was
trying to say. So if our job is to get results out of people then we need to motivate
people to do that. Easy!!
You should see some of the looks I get from my audiences when I say that – I can
see people thinking to themselves “that’s all very well for you to say, but you haven’t
met my lot.”
Nevertheless, it’s true though – let me explain.
It really is as simple as that
What if we had two people and one of them (let’s say Samantha) was fanatical about a particular sport and had a favourite team that was notoriously difficult to get tickets for - to see play. The other person (let’s call him Craig) hated that sport and anything to do with it.
It works like this: “Samantha, I need you to do something for me – it will be hard work, will take up a lot of time including some personal time and you won’t get paid any extra for doing it, but I do have two tickets to go see ‘X’ play next week if you are interested.” - I think we can all agree that Samantha will be motivated to carry out that task.
However, how would Craig react to the same thing? Negative and de-motivated of course – he hates that sport.
It’s so obvious, it makes you wonder why we don’t see it happen all the time.
Now of course we are all different and a good leader will spend time getting to understand their team in order to know how to press all the right buttons. However there is something interesting I think, about hairdressers. I have found that throughout my career, most of the hairdressers I’ve ever met actually have one motivating factor, which they all share.
They want to be a fantastic hairdresser – Nobody wants to hear themselves described as a ‘quite good’ hairdresser. I think most of us would be disappointed even, to hear someone say we were just ‘good’ – we want to be great, fantastic, brilliant – we want people to go away and tell others that they have an amazing hairdresser. For years
we have be-moaned the hairdressers ‘ego’. Why don’t we start to use it instead of moaning about it?
If you want to start getting hairdressers to achieve great things and to enjoy doing it, then you have to start using the thing that motivates them the most:
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