As a hairstylist, one of the greatest assets you can have behind the chair is your confidence.
The ability to provide great service for every single client is about so much more than just your technical skills. Your confidence when dealing with clients can make a huge impact, not only on your level of success in this industry, but also the way your clients perceive you. Confidence tells your client that you are knowledgeable and that you are the right person for the job.
But with all that pressure to exceed client expectations, it can be difficult to improve your confidence when you find yourself falling short. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or have decades of experience under your belt—everyone has moments when his or her confidence is in short supply.
Everyone gets nervous; everyone occasionally has a less-than-stellar day at work. Maybe it’s a client who, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to please. Or maybe you tried a new technique that didn’t give you the results you had hoped for. Perhaps you just have a lack of experience.
No matter what has shaken your confidence, the great thing is that you can get it back. Here’s how.
1. Dress the Part
You know that feeling you get when you look and feel great? It feels like you could conquer the world, one haircut at a time.
Dressing professionally and using confident body language will help train your mind to believe it, even on days when you truly don’t feel it. When we feel good about ourselves it’s like an automatic boost for self-confidence. That confidence trickles into other areas of our lives, including how we communicate with, relate to and are perceived by others.
2. Be a Good Listener
Hairdressing is a career that relies heavily on your ability to communicate and listen effectively. Remember, clients come to you because they have a problem and they need you to solve it. Whether it is the need for a new look or just to maintain their style, they are looking to you to give them the solution.
Miscommunication can be a powerful drain on your confidence, especially if it leads to an unhappy client. By taking the time to ask detailed questions and making sure you truly understand their requests, you can help avoid confusion. By simply increasing your understanding of your clients’ needs, you can increase your confidence in how you approach each task.
3. Know Your Strengths
Everyone has something that they excel at. Take some time to identify your own strengths and look for ways to use them whenever the opportunity arises.
By using your best abilities more often, you are gaining valuable client experience as well as providing yourself numerous opportunities for success. This isn’t to say that you need to limit yourself to only things you do well and not expand your skill set. But as you branch out and try new things, remembering your past accomplishments can help boost your confidence and drive out negative thinking when you attempt tasks you find difficult.
4. Know Your Weaknesses
As important as it is to know what you’re good at, it is equally as important to know what skills you may be lacking in. While you shouldn’t focus too heavily on weaknesses, you should be aware of them.
Be honest with yourself and use weaknesses as a chance to learn. Seek out advanced education, especially hands-on opportunities, to improve your skills. Not only will this keep you up-to-date within the fast-paced beauty industry, but it will also help improve your confidence with clients when you are able to offer them services in which you have advanced training.
5. Set Realistic Expectations
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Confidence when dealing with clients does not happen overnight. Expecting perfection from yourself may set you up for unnecessary stress.
If, instead of expecting perfection, you set realistic expectations and goals for yourself you will be more likely to meet them. Every small success behind the chair helps build your self-confidence—and that positive feeling translates into improved confidence with clients.