Engagement Leadership

I recently had the opportunity to discuss with an experienced professional from the bio medical field about engaging employees rather than managing them.  I must say, it was inspirational to hear another colleague highlight the importance of coaching rather than managing.

To this individual, leadership was the language, not management.  How can one engage a team if they are managing?  Coaching, mentoring, leading…this is how one leads a team to high levels of productivity, great moral, and amazing, tangible results.

How do you engage your team?  Please share…

Customer Feedback ~ etiquette in the response

Whether owning or operating a spa, customer feedback is an ongoing occurrence, if not daily.  For some of you, this might make you squirm in your chair…let me be the one to inform you though that customer feedback, both glowing and constructive are gifts to your business.  When a customer takes the time to provide feedback to a spa owner or director, it truly means they care about the performance of the spa and have ownership in it’s success.  This is a great thing and these are great guests to have as feedback equals retention.

The real question though is how to respond to feedback, especially when it’s constructive or all out negative.  In today’s world, often times we are not receiving feedback in person nor on the phone, but rather through the myriad of social media sites out there; ie. Yelp, Trip Advisor, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc.  Yes these outlets make it easy and convenient for a guest to “bash” an establishment without responsibility.  Often times these types of reviews are reactions to a situation both good and negative due to the convenience of mobile technology.

When positive posts come through social media channels, take the time to like, thank, and respond to your guest.  When negative reviews come through, take every opportunity you have to reach that guest, thank them for taking the time to share their experience, give them an opportunity to share the experience with you, ask them what would have made their experience more enjoyable (unless it is obvious ~ ie. my therapist was late and coughed all over me…yikes)  and then take action to find a solution for them.  You want this guest back booking future services.  This guest wants to be loyal, they only need to trust your establishment again.

Personalizing even an experience such as a review posted by a guest, will show that guest your spa is a place for connection, a place for healing, and a place for them.


Character ~ defining our credibility and competence

With all the talk about character these days in the news, I thought I would share and expand on how I view one’s character both in life and the workplace.  Stephen M.R. Covey’s book, The SPEED of Trust was an inspirational read that truly changed the way I led and conducted business.   If you have not yet read this book, I encourage you to obtain a copy and read it.  Truly inspiring.  Lance Armstrong might not be where he is today, had he had access to this book years ago.  TRUST, as defined in Wikipedia, means to believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of one’s character.  CHARACTER is defined as the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.  Both definitions translate to me that for one to withhold both trust and character, one is truly a decent human being on this Earth and is mindful and thoughtful with every decision and action performed.

It has been my experience both in life and the workplace that once I am able to trust one’s character, a fulfilling and prosperous relationship ensues.  Relationships are expanded upon with ease, efficiency, and care.  When someone is not trustworthy or has character flaws, unnecessary time, discussions and research are needed to either further pursue the relationship or as in recent headlines, clean up a mess created.  This time almost always equates to money spent and typically money not initially accounted for in a budget.

“The first job of a leader—at work or at home—is to inspire trust. It’s to bring out the best in people by entrusting them with meaningful stewardships, and to create an environment in which high-trust interaction inspires creativity and possibility.”
Stephen M.R. Covey, The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything

In the workplace, these principles set a foundation of attracting and selecting the right people for one’s business.  Taking time in the hiring process to sift through applicants, conduct thorough interviews, and mindfully understand how one’s character will add value to the current team structure will benefit the business tremendously in the end.  Always looking to add character and trust to an existing team will ensure longevity and productivity in the end.

In your personal life, character and trust are almost a given, yet I view as the most compromised and overlooked qualities and values.  Whether choosing relationships, working to improve existing ones or moving away from relationships, always first look at yourself and judge your own character and trust.  How are you measuring up to your own expectations?  Are you contributing to your relationships with extraordinarily high levels of character and trust or are you part of the problem?  I understand this can be a difficult one to execute although an important one.

Spending meaningful time aligning yourself and your business with individuals and organizations reflecting strong values of character and trust will open doors for your success long-term.  If this topic intrigues you and you would like to discuss further, please share your thoughts.

Director or Mama

After having my daughter, who is now 13 months old, I went through an identity crisis. I had been a high level executive for a spa in a resort company for almost 10 years. Heels, suits and make up were a daily staple for me along with leading a team of 100 adults in a business setting.

The next thing I knew I was talking baby talk, changing diapers, getting no sleep AND not wearing make up let alone getting in a shower. Who was this woman I had known all these years? I always knew I wanted children and my husband and I were very excited to start our family. Being in my mid thirties when we began our family, I realized I had never defined what and who I would be when I became a Mama. I had been defined as a leader, executive, spa gal, innovator and successful business woman for so many years. How do I now add in Mama to the list?

After months of getting to know my daughter and loving every second of our time together, my husband and I decided it was time for me to properly blend Mama with my career. Going out on my own is exciting, inspiring, scary and full of unknowns although having a balance within my two jobs of Mama and Tao Spa Solutions is a necessity for a mindful and healthy lifestyle.

We will see where this next chapter takes me and I look forward to sharing my experiences along the way.