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Sam Burnett’s mindful approach to building a team

March 09, 2022

The Mindful Hairdresser | For the final part of his series, Sam Burnett of HARE & BONE discusses his mindful approach to building a team.

No matter what you do in life, being surrounded by people that share your beliefs, vision and values will always make it infinitely better. This doesn’t mean that you look to recruit copies of yourself though. Every workplace and friendship group needs to have individuals that are diverse. This could be skills, opinions, characteristics and of course, demographics. But how do you go about building a team mindfully?

Firstly, as the flight attendant explains at the start of every take-off, you need to look after yourself before you can help others. You need to understand yourself. Hopefully by reading my two previous articles you might have started working out what your core values are and what your purpose is. Communicating these clearly will help you connect with the right people. Write them down, share them with those around you and I guarantee you will start to attract your own tribe. 

Once you appreciate what your purpose is, ask your team to join you. Provide podcast suggestions, reading materials and ask them the questions no-one ever asked you. By nature, your team already love hairdressing but ask questions about what is really, really important to them as humans. Often people don’t know the answer so I suggest starting with a list of values, and ask them to pick seven. This could include words such as achievement, adventure, approval, calmness, compassion, confidence, dignity, excitement, family, freedom of speech, honesty, harmony, peace, privacy, respect, security, self-control, success, support, truth and unity (you can google a full list). Some of those selected will be work values which are how you want others to interact with you when in the salon. Once the team understands what is important to them, they can then set goals that reflect these values. This increases overall job satisfaction and team spirit. 

When it comes to interviewing new candidates for your team, of course the trade test is crucial but we all know that hiring the right personality for your team is often more important. Don’t automatically go for the most technically perfect bob. Our industry is built on connection and communicating. If there is someone that shares similar values and vision, then I recommend that no matter how much training is required, this be the person that you add to the team. As the salon owner or manager you need to protect your team and their energy. This can be done by not recruiting anyone whose beliefs sit outside of your own or the business. Yes, technically correct stylists might initially bring in a lot of business but the damage and upset they will cause the team, if they dont hold the same values, will be more expensive in the long run.

The culture of hairdressing is changing. Mindfulness should be at the forefront of any hairdressing brand that wants to thrive. By having these open conversations we can make the changes required to run successful businesses, with happy team members. Remember that to practice mindfulness you need to stay in the moment. Don’t dwell on the past or focus too much on the future. 

If you have five minutes to be mindful this week, then:

Watch: Visible Out on TV (Apple Tv) – A series that shows the journey of the LGBTQ+ community and how representation in the media shaped and still shapes public opinion and expectations. I feel this is relevant to salon owners, individual stylists and teams to remind us to be mindful as we build our own teams and influence the cultures within them. We need to be open minded and not box people in to pre conceived stereo types.   

Listen: GABA – This is a wonderful collection of mediative stories combining guided meditation, soundscapes and pop philosophy in a “next generation meditation that unfolds like a beautiful dream.”

Read: The Alchemist – A wonderful story about a shepherd who pursues his dream by following what his heart desires. For me the main theme here is to get out of our heads, trust out intuition and lead with our hearts.