Photo Credit: Markus Winkler,

Written by Krystine Sherwood
August 5, 2020

Asking “What do you want to work on today?” unleashes a flood of goals and self-improvements that have been accumulated over years of self-suppression.

Salon and Spa Professionals are trained to put others first no matter what. My approach to such determination is to immediately celebrate, acknowledge, and validate such courage while taking a deep breath as I prioritize my own intuitive hits. 

Seeing my client’s self-suppression, I forewarn them of uncomfortable moments. I supportively reassure them, “I’ll hold your hand through this process and kick your butt at the same time.” Nervous laughter ensues. 

Glorifying multi-tasking in the salon and spa creates a disconnect when having to prioritize self and goals. I’ve found AIM SMART goals to be one of the most used tools in my coaching to slow down the creative mind. This tool helps Beauty Artists to reflect and focus on what’s important to them. Thoroughly explaining the exercise and breaking it down helps them, but also helps me as a coach to better understand my client. It puts them into my view as more than a paycheck, as a person who wants to be better. 

Asking them to define even the most mundane of words such as “family” puts life into perspective for student and teacher.

Communication, whether it’s self-talk or outward conversation, continues throughout the day for beauty professionals. It’s literally part of their job description and duty. While it’s one of the best money-making tools, it can also be the most harmful. Gremlins grow here. 

My approach to illuminating my client to their evil-alter-ego is to interrupt them mid-sentence and question the seeping insecurity with tough love. The efficacy of tough love can draw out any person from their dark, negative talk.

As is the case with every human, boundaries define where we as individuals begin and end. Beauty professionals are no exception. They are very much the rule. There’s an abundance of heart that goes into every highlight application, every snip of the scissors, and every “favor” asked. 

The desire to exceed expectations can leave a Beauty Artist drained at the end of an eight-hour workday. Assisting my professionals in boundary-setting creates longevity in their careers. It creates more income for them. It alters their definition of life.

My understanding and love for this complex group of hospitable, accommodating, vocal artists have deepened since giving permission to step inside their minds. To help them reorganize their belief systems has given me more meaning in being a salon and spa owner.

I’ve learned a blunt, yet gentle, way of coaching that wouldn’t have happened with any other audience.

Additionally, I’ve learned more about my own weaknesses. Just like Salon and Spa Professionals, my struggles with time management, insecurities, and boundary-setting have been refined with something so simple: clarity

Clarity has empowered my clients to truly know from their inner being what they want out of their lives, which in turn has made me, their coach, pause and reflect. 

The concepts inherent in this article are the author’s interpretations of materials by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC).

Photo Credit: Markus Winkler,