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How to have a discussion with a team member who does not like to agree with you

Tamara Forrest-Smith

You are proposing new ideas in your salon but your stylist who has been working with you for over 7 years does not think it’ll work. She believes your proposal of increasing the average order value will anger the clients, and in general, she believes there is little point in making changes at all as things work as they are fine.

What do you say when someone disagrees with your proposal while maintaining leadership and respecting
your stylist’s ideas at the same time?

Here are some quick guides to follow

1. Be realistic about the risks of reactions.

It is not uncommon to feel a little timid or scared that your new ideas might scare off some of the team members, you might even feel that your stylist might leave if you ask for a change. But chances are even if your team members are not that happy with the proposal they are not going to quit the job right there and then, neither will they turn into lifelong enemies. Instead, consider the real risk of not making any changes.

For example, making a change may mean your stylists have to start working differently with the clients in order to increase the average bill from £45 to £60. That £15 difference per client over one year may amount to an increase of £10,800 per stylist (based on the average 15 clients a week, 60 clients a month, 720 client visits a year x £15 = £10,800).

If you have 5 stylists, then the risk of not making changes may mean a lost revenue of £10,800 x 5 = £54,000. 

Above is of course just one example, your proposal may have nothing to do directly with the money. 

2. Time it right

Once you have identified what you want to discuss, think if the timing is right. The chances of making snap decisions may not be the most efficient way to implement a change, or the issue may not be best to
discuss in a team meeting, perhaps one on one discussion is a better option. Either way, best to think things through before raising an issue.

3. Identify a shared goal and make it about them as much as about the company

Your stylist may resist working a little harder to upsell a client, but perhaps they have not seen the benefits for them. Help them understand how they will be financially or otherwise better off and how them supporting the team and the salon business, in general, will benefit their bottom line. For some employees, although important, money is not the only thing they want from the job, freedom and time might be more valuable. Identifying the shared goal will help you make the conversation smoother and more effective.

4. Let them speak freely and make no judgments

Ultimately as a leader, you want to make a decision, after all, it is not fair to put the pressure of business decision-making to fall on your employee’s shoulders, but you also want people to feel calm and able to speak freely without fear of judgments. By creating a safe environment to speak up you will get a mutually beneficial outcomes from the conversation.

Happy disagreements and discussions

For more details and guided steps on how to hold meetings and create systems to work with your staff
check out Salon Extreme 21 

Tamara Forrest-Smith

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