Are you adaptable?


The mind is so fascinating to me. I’ve said many times, if there is an afterlife I would love to come back as one who studies the mind. I would love to be sitting across the table (with bars in between) with Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). His performance in Silence of the Lambs is truly short of perfect. How he is able to share his mind without actually giving the answers into it.

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In more real times, I’m fascinated yet bewildered at how we can be presented with the same exact scenario yet have see it so many different ways.

I wonder what is it in our brains which cross wires to make everyone see the same thing from a different perspective.

I’m fascinated with people (like myself) that have the uncanny ability to not only see things from many different perspectives, also to adjust accordingly. And, I’m fascinated with the people who are simply close minded to anyones thoughts or opinions than their own.

Where do you fall?

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The idea for this article came up from a couple of different circumstances in my own life!

  1. My relationship with my husband to where I can see (and feel) my own growth. Attempting not to argue with him over situations which we clearly have different views. Literally asking the questions “tell me your thought process”.
  2. I’m also in the middle of doing some upgrades and remodeling in our home. With the assistance of a very dear friend of mine, I’m trying to “step out of the box” of what I normally would do, and trusting his recommendations. It’s amazing to me how our eyes, yet looking at the same thing….have two completely different resolves.

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The idea for this article also came to mind in conversation with my clients.

  1. How reactions to a variety of scenarios affect people differently.
  2. How “set in their ways” so many people can be…ei: non-flexible

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Personally, I feel the idea of each person having their own thoughts and/or opinions is what makes us individuals. And, it’s those thoughts and opinions which make each of us so unique.

What I don’t understand is the lack of empathy or quick to judgement that so many people have. Not just in our lives as we live it, in the lives of others.

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I can remember being behind the chair listening to many of my more mature clients (at the age I am now) speak of experiences and situations they were going through with their elderly parents.

I remember specifically one of my clients “Carol” whose Mom had dementia. At the time, I never realized her story is what prepared me for taking care of my Mother-in-Law.

Carol would complain of her Mom constantly. How she couldn’t remember anything, how she repeated herself, how she lost things etc. etc. I remember thinking “geez…have some compassion. Why are you even arguing with her if you know she doesn’t even know where she is”?

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What I realized years later is how difficult it is to see someone you love, someone you looked up too, someone you trusted turn into a person you didn’t even know. How do you adapt to this new environment when all you knew was totally different?

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I also remember being behind the chair and finding myself aggravated with late clients, client no shows, clients who managed their Business while I was trying to do their nails….constantly dinging one here and there.

I remember those moments because I let it ruin my day. I let someone else control how I was going to feel.

As time went on I found myself being less and less adaptable to the situations.

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I respect all of you who are behind the chair. In our day and age, so many things have changed….especially people’s respect for one another.

However, this is Business. We have to remember where our bread and butter comes from and we have to remember it is our clients who have helped us get where we are today. (Hopefully in a growth situation)


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Ask yourself these questions;

  • If a client is late…are you immediately pissed off?
  • If a client messes a nail (while in your chair) are you stewing?
  • If a client changes her appointment, are you aggravated?

If you answered YES to any of these…your adaptability level is pretty low…..let me explain!

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Believe me, I have worked behind a chair for 34 years. If I really liked my client…I wasn’t bothered much. However, if she wasn’t one of my favorites, I certainly could feel my blood boiling.

I was always adaptable, I just handled it a bit different depending on who the client was. I know this was totally wrong.

As I’ve matured in my ole age, it’s easy for me to look back and see this. However, as I was growing in this Business I simply just felt “put off”.

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What I see now is a bit different attitude. Its an “you owe me” attitude. It’s an attitude of “indignancy” or “how dare you”. It’s an attitude of “ungratefulness“.

I’m not saying we have to be trampled on and beat up and/or be treated with disrespect. What I’m saying is this generation needs to wake up and realize how many choices our clients have. We need to realize the client always come first and whether they are or not, the client is always right.

We need to adapt to the good, the bad and the ugly in our Salons. It’s all just a part of “life”.

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How do we adapt to the disrespect and lack of courtesy from our clients?

  1. Allow extra time between clients for this situations when a client is running late. And remember, extra time will also allow for you running a bit late. However, don’t tell any of your clients you “add this time”…..otherwise, they WILL take advantage with no guilt at all of running late.
  2. Have your policies in place for no shows. Think of it as an insurance policy. It’s peace of mind. However, make sure all your clients know this policy. A policy is no good if the people it affects knows nothing about it. This policy is also good for you. If your policy is they have to pay 50% or full price of the service, at least you know you are getting some income regardless.
  3. Know your time limits and learn the language to Professionally speak to your clients regarding the irritation of them “being on their phone” “texting” etc, leaving the result of messed up nails. Knowing the Professional way to handle this situation, will keep you calm and clearly express what needs to be done, to your clients.

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The key is……policies in place help you manage your Business in a Professional manner. However, certain circumstances DO happen and we need to be adaptable to them. This doesn’t mean we let our clients walk all over us. It means we have learned how to manage the situation based on our Professionalism.

I fear for our Industries future. I see less adaptability. I see more of “what’s in it for me” or “it’s all about me”. I see more anger, less patience. I see more Technicians putting themselves first, their clients second.

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We all have processes we look at on a yearly basis. We make changes, we decide what are goals are. We re-evaluate.  This is all good.

What I feel also needs to be done is a check on YOU!. We have to look at ourselves, into ourselves and determine what kind of Business Professional have I been this year. Am I in the Business for all the right reasons?

And….don’t forget to ask yourself. Am I adaptable?

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