Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Just Listen...

Here I was staring at my computer screen, not really sure what to write about tonight. Sometimes I am just SO sleepy by the time I sit down to post my blog that I draw a blank. (yes... it happens). I have been writing it in the morning  lately for that reason, however today I had clients at my studio all day, so I am a tired girl this evening. What I typically do when this happens is scroll through my Facebook feed to see if something inspires me enough to write about it and if that doesn't work I go to my email. I get flooded with inspirational emails because of my searches and because those who know me, know me well, I get emails forwarded to me that they think I will like or that remind them of me. Tonight... Facebook failed me but my trusty email search was a success. I rarely have time to read the influx of messages I get in a day the day I get them but if they sound interesting enough to come back to I will flag them and read them as soon as I have some downtime.

So tonight... I have to say THANKS ANI! (my dear client and now friend) An email you sent me this week sparked tonights topic!

She sent me one of her favorite sayings, (Author was not named in the email)

LISTEN WITH YOUR HEART

"To be kind is more important than to be right. Many times what people need is NOT a brilliant mind that speaks, but a special heart that listens." 

The first thing I want to say is.... "WOW" I could not LOVE any other saying more than that one right now! What a brilliant statement that I wish I could lay claim to. I have thought similar things so many times but the delivery of that just ROCKS.

Being a stylist, I practice this daily! For nearly 22 years I have been learning to be a better listener. I have read books and articles on it, and I have researched the way the brain works when it comes to thinking of others needs first; when a client sits in my chair they NEED me to LISTEN FIRST, TALK SECOND! I like to talk... (who me?) if you have been reading my blogs, you know this to be true; I even type-talk a lot!! (It's not my fault I resemble a walking encyclopedia)   :(

My point is that it took me a long time to learn how to listen because I could never hear anyone else over myself. I am better now, (not to say I am not still in favor of being the center of attention at times) and am thankful that someone was balsy enough to tell me that I needed to learn how to do this better. (thanks Mom, it's why you are my best friend) The cool thing is that once I learned how, I was able to help them better, service them better and because of that my business changed. I no longer had to slave over my chair, rarely eating lunch and stretching my bladder to inconceivable widths, I was able to REALLY give them THEIR time. Private time, quiet time, relaxation or I need to talk or vent time; anything they were in the mood for I was ready to listen.

So, what happened next? Well... I made more money in less time by filling the NEEDS of others BEFORE mine. Funny how that cliche' saying really began to work for me. The most amazing thing was that I learned more about my customers, we became REAL friends... and I felt luckier and luckier every day. I enjoyed the company and loved my job again. Once the gloriousness and fashionable feeling of doing what I do for a living wears off; there has gotta be something left, and all you have is your extended family (aka clients). For someone like me, who enjoys to flap her jaws, it was tough, but very rewarding.

In closing, I will share that when you listen... you change; your heart changes, your thought processes change; now, when I do flap my jaws... I hope to share something that will affect them positively, not something that will make them walk away stressed out or worried that I was too preoccupied with life and messed up their hair! (yep... I am SURE some of my clients over the years thought this about me a time or two!) Listening is a gift, and I am happy that I strive to become the best one I can be, and suggest you do the same. Think about how music would sound if we never listened to it....

To Ani... if you are reading:  You have only been a client for a short time in comparison to my others, however the impact your friendship has had on me is profound. We always talk and listen to each other SO much that we always forget to book your next appointment! I am thankful for our conversations and always enjoy seeing your name on my schedule. Thanks for being the person you are, you inspire me every time I see you.

Enjoy your night everyone! Listen real close and you may just hear a shooting star!

xoxo
~SHELLS~