Sense of style? Check! Manual dexterity? Check! Enthusiastic about beauty? Check! Most students in a cosmetology program can check all of these boxes. But what about the ability to be a good listener? This skill is very important for professionals in the beauty industry, regardless of specialty. Whether styling hair, painting nails, or applying makeup, there needs to be good communication between cosmetologists and clients about the services provided.
Concentrating on the task at hand while listening and responding to a conversation can be challenging, but there are strategies to strengthen your abilities in this department. The beauty school programs at Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes train students to have good communication skills. Here are a few tips that help our students become better listeners.
Clear the Mind Before Starting a New Appointment
Remembering a conversation with the previous client or mentally going over a recent phone call with a family member is distracting. When we are distracted, we are less able to listen effectively to what’s happening in the present. In fact, it might also interfere with our ability to convey information and remember details.
Discover a way that works for you to clear your mind between appointments. Mindful breathing, listening to music, stepping outside, reading a poem, or just taking a few moments to relax and drink some water can help you reset. Taking a break, however short and in whatever form, helps us focus on the present. And when you are present with the client, you can better observe their body language, accurately hear what they say, and engage in two-way communication with greater ease.
Pay Attention to the Wishes of the Client
Most cosmetologists know the importance of honoring their clients’ wishes, but some may not realize how this goes beyond providing top-notch service. By actively listening to clients, you are better equipped to answer their questions and maintain a clear understanding of their goals and expectations.
When subjects arise, such as color choices, time constraints, or questions about cost, it’s important to give full attention. It can be helpful to repeat specifics back to the client to ensure clarity. Encouraging the client to express their wishes, showing that you understand, and answering any questions allows appointments to proceed more smoothly.
Practice Tolerance and Suspend Judgments
People are diverse in their opinions, education, attitudes, and politics. Additionally, there are cultural and lifestyle differences that are sometimes difficult to comprehend at first. This may be one of the most difficult aspects of listening and interacting with others in general, let alone in a professional setting. It can be tempting to let your emotions get the best of you when sensitive topics are discussed, but having strong opinions or getting angry at clients over their beliefs can produce adverse consequences.
The cosmetologist’s job is to welcome everyone and help them feel comfortable during their appointment. If the conversation turns to issues or beliefs that are distasteful to the cosmetologist, it’s important to depersonalize the situation. Take the opportunity to practice tolerance and remind yourself that you are not required to make judgments about your client. It can also be helpful to gently steer the conversation toward less polarizing topics. At Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes, our instructors provide guidance on how to deal with difficult clients.
Meditation can also be a powerful tool to help you regulate emotional responses. For starters, consider meditating for 10 to 20 minutes twice a day. Simply focus on a mental image or repeating phrase and dismiss other thoughts as they come. If you need to ground yourself in the moment during an appointment, there are simple psychological practices that can help direct your attention back to the immediate environment, including naming five colored objects that you can see or identifying four things that you can hear, smell, or see.
Get Expert Guidance from Cosmetology Professionals
If you want to stand out among other cosmetologists, you need an education that provides you with the technical, business, and soft skills necessary for success in the industry. At Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes, you’ll learn from licensed and experienced instructors who understand all aspects of the beauty industry. We offer convenient program schedules, including options for part-time and evening classes, at our state-of-the-art locations in Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. To get started and learn more about the programs we offer, contact us today.