So, back to that Motorcycle class I took. Man, has that ended up being an educational experience! The sort that makes me think about my own industry a lot.
That whole episode where we watched our instructors blatantly break the rules didn’t sit well with us (the BF and I), so I made a call to the company that runs the class we took. The girl in the office ended up insisting that she’d have her boss contact me. Not because she was outraged to learn of the indiscretion so much as she didn’t know what to tell me.
So I talked to the boss. Who really didn’t make a positive impression on me. Mostly, I’m not sure if he had been drinking, had suffered a slight stroke at some point in his life, or was trying to read a book while he was talking to me. He seemed distracted and somewhat confused about what he was doing on the phone with me.
Now you know, whether you own a salon or run your own booth, you are the boss of your business. And eventually, you’re going to have to look someone in the eye while they complain about something.
Someone is eventually going to try to get a refund out of you that they may or may not deserve, someone will be telling you that one of your staff members has done sometime unacceptable, someone will have questions that you might not want to answer or may not have answers to.
But you gotta deal with it. You can’t just sit there and drool while they are talking. You need to be authoritative. You need to take the initiative and be in control of the situation and the conversation. You can’t just sit there, listen to them, and then say, “Uhhhhh... OK.”
Because that’s what the “Boss” did. I expected him to listen, reiterate, and then take charge: “I see. No. That is not how we do things. I’ll be looking into that. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.”
Or I expected him to be a weasel and make excuses, “Well now, little lady, I understand that maybe you thought you saw someone drop a bike, but since I don’t have any record of that happening, I’m going to have to assume it didn’t. My guys are topnotch, they know what they’re doing.”
Either way, I was talking to the Boss. I expected him to act like a boss.
Which left me thinking about all the times I’ve heard a colleague insist that they aren’t “confrontational” when asking for advice on how to handle a situation.
You don’t have to be confrontational, but you do need to be assertive. Run your business like a boss. Because if you’re not the boss, the other person is. Regardless of who owns the business.