We’ve been learning all about being open. Being authentic is often the best way to be with friends, in relationships, and even in the workplace. But maintaining a proper career image and being the type of stylist that clients want to come back to is also VERY important. There is a balance between being guarded and revealing too much about your personal life. Let’s look at a few ways to find that in-between place: where the client feels comfortable and so do you!
One way to make sure that you do not overstep what you’re telling your clients is to make sure and not include the names of people you may be talking about. While you may be working in a big city, you would be surprised at how small of a world we live in. That girl who may have given you a passive-aggressive stare in the grocery store could be your client’s second cousin—and they might not take too kindly to your negative comments. By not using any names in the personal stories you may tell, your client would be pleased that you feel comfortable opening up but isn’t made to feel uncomfortable by who they may know.
Another way to ensure that you aren’t revealing too much is to let your client talk. Allowing the client to talk and share what they want can set the tone for the conversation. If the client is clearly avoiding the topics of family or relationships when he or she speaks, that might be a sign that they do not want to talk about such things. If you were to hit one of these subjects, they might detach and not feel as connected to you as a stylist. As stylists, it is our job to keep the topic of conversation appropriate.
But with all that, do not be scared to talk to your clients about things that matter. If they want to talk about mental health, let them know that you support them in whatever they are struggling with. If they need guidance, talk to them as best you can and point them in the direction of a counselor or outreach center that would best benefit their needs. It’s always good to have the contact information on-hand for facilities such as these. Never make a client feel bad for opening up to you about what they may be struggling with. It’s okay to share your own experiences if you may relate to these topics too—just don’t forget that they brought it up. Never talk so much that your client can’t get a word in edgewise. They may have something very important to tell you and they can’t do so if you don’t give the opportunity.
As I said before, there is a balance in navigating the conversation between you and a client. Just remember to be appropriate, let them dictate the topics, and don’t name-drop! These simple tips will make your appointments so much more enjoyable and leave you without any fear!