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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Key Idea: Teach Communication Skills

Pam understands that communication is the oil in the service machine and gives her employees tools to keep interpersonal communications running smoothly.

Key Question:


Take time to talk and listen to employees.  Gadabout sells plenty of products but it leads with service and in all service-based businesses, communication becomes the product.

Q: What kind of communications training had all the employees just completed when we taped this story?

A: Conflict resolution training. They all learned a four-step process to solving a problem. First, you feel the problem and calm yourself. Second, you deal with it by going to the person with whom you have the problem. You tell them you want to speak with them about a problem. You go to a place away from clients and colleagues. Third, you speak about the problem and listen to the other person. Fourth, you let go of the problem so that it does not affect the future.

The big benefit of this type of training is Pam can now hold people responsible for dealing with conflict. Pam doesn't have to take people into her office and work with them to resolve conflicts. Pam is brilliant because not only will Gadabout as a company experience a higher level of productivity, employees can use these skills in their personal lives as well.

Think about it

Does your company need conflict resolution training? Do you think this is only needed in a female dominated situation? What can you do to improve your own communication skills?

Clip from: Gadabout Salon & Spa

Tucson, Arizona: Left with two young mouths to feed and never having worked outside the home, Pamela McNair-Wingate has created a new reality in the workplace where love and generosity abide. Today, from six locations around Tucson,  she and her team of over 200 professionals deliver the newest treatments from their spas and the freshest looks from their salons. 

The company, Gadabout SalonSpas, is recognized as a leader in the day spa movement both in customer care and in business practices.

In the typical spas customers check in for a week to be pampered, to eat low-fat diets, and to participate in endless exercise classes. Day spas are different! Here you'll find only the pampering part.  Pam has been a leader in this revolution from its beginning and she is helping to transform the salon business by setting an example for all. In recognition of her extraordinary leadership skills, Pam was named Salon Entrepreneur of the Year for the US at the Global Salon Business Awards presented in London in 2004.

Gadabout SalonSpas, Inc.

Pamela McNair, Chairman

3501 E. Kleindale Road
Tucson, AZ 85726

Visit our web site:

Office: 5203229434

Business Classification:
Personal Products, human services, beauty

Year Founded: 1976

Teach Communication Skills

PAM: We've come up with a conflict-resolution package, which is four steps that you take if you work with us to resolve conflicts.

HATTIE: So everyone goes through a class?

PAM: They went through training, and now we have the four steps written in our policy so that when someone has a problem, this is the way we deal with it.

HATTIE: OK, let's role play. I've got a problem with you, Pam.

PAM: Yes.

HATTIE: What are the steps we go through?

PAM: The first thing you do is you feel it. You see how it feels, how you feel about it. You don't want to respond to somebody when you're highly emotional. So you need to calm yourself. The second thing, after you've felt it, is you need to deal with it. You need to go to the individual and say, `Do you have a moment? I'd like to speak to you when you're free.' So that you take yourself away from the situation where there aren't clients or other co-workers who can hear the conflict.

Then what you do is you speak about it; you listen and you talk. When you're finished, you learn from that experience. And then the hardest part of it is to let it go so that it doesn't affect us tomorrow or the next day, or next time we have a disagreement we're still bringing up the old things that bothered me three months ago.

HATTIE: OK. So it's kind of formal venting.

LAURIE: There's no reason why I have to go home with a knot in my gut.

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