The answers;

Specific - described behavior, action, activity that can be seen or heard. It is a clear picture of behavior, action or activity.

Non specific behavior, actions or activities, something that is an idea, image, opinions, assumptions, or vague present in the mind of another person but open to interpretation by others.

  1. Julie has a bad attitude to retailing - What is bad? My view on bad maybe very different to yours

  2. Paul is often late to work - What is late? 3 seconds after their start time or 5 minutes?

  3. Sharon filled out the end of day report - I can see the form

  4. The team is loyal to the salon - What is loyal?

  5. The team work hard - What is hard?

  6. Can you clean the reception - Clean what? is it just polish the top, or do I clean the phone, take everything out of the draws, polish the top, sides and front?

  7. The promotion was posted on Facebook - I can see it

  8. John is an excellent stylist - what is excellent?

  9. Julie completed her holiday form - I can see it

  10. She is lazy - OK, first its a label and we should never label, but what is lazy?

  11. The client completed the form - Yep, I can see the form

  12. The targets are on the staff wall - I can go to the wall and find the targets

  13. I need the old stock taken off the shelve - What is old? If I gave this instruction to a team member they may remove everything that's only 4 weeks old when I wanted XYZ products in the old packaging, for example.

  14. Julie asked questions about the promotion - I can hear the questions

  15. Please fold the towels - How? Do I fold them in half or roll them up?

  16. Print out the appointment page - Which day? the week, tomorrow?

  17. When dealing with a complaint Julie is calm - what is calm?

  18. I need you to bleach the cups - How?


The Story of the Bleached Cups

I was training a salon owners business course many years ago, they had just completed the same exercise and as we finished going though the answers a salon owner with 15 years experience started banging his head on the desk, when he finished he said...

"all these years I've been so frustrated with the team but the whole time it was me, not them"

and then he shared a recent experience - The Bleached Coffee Cups!

He explained that he had asked a young team member to bleach the cups as they looked stained and had lost there crisp white appearance.

Off went the team member to the staff room to do the job, as asked. 15 minutes later the owner walked in to find every cup out and covering every surface, every chair, shelf and work top. The team member carefully wiping the inside of A CUP with a cloth dipped in bleach. The owner responded...

"What are you doing? You're suppose to put them in the sink, fill it with water and put the bleach in there, bloody hell, give it here..."

The owner, with his head hang in shame, went on, "I was so "P***ed" off with him, I mean I thought it would be bloody obvious but all I told him was "I need you to bleach the cups" and that's what he was doing, he didn't do anything wrong, I was vague and assumed he would know, bloody hell I owe him an apology"


Sometimes its NOT them, but us. Taking a moment if you see a team member doing a job or task we've given them not how we would do it before we get frustrated with them, just reflect. "Did I give clear instructions or was I vague or assume they would know how I would do it?"

As a team we discussed how do we respond when this happens so the team member can learn without being made to feel they've done something wrong, knocking their self-esteem or getting frustrated with us...

"Wow, that's an interesting way to do it, I normally just put them in the sink and wash the lot together, you've certainly got them clean, thanks"

By giving them the alternative they can think for themselves, and of course if our way is easier, they may respond.

"that's sounds a better way"

They learn, and we can reflect, was I SPECIFIC and describe what I wanted. If we were NON SPECIFIC then we can't get frustrated, they had to interpret how to do the job. That young person HAD done the job, bleaching the cups as asked, just in a different way.

But sometimes its not about our communication its about getting rid of habits a team member has that we don't want in our business, so in the next video and article.

How to deal with unwanted behavior

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