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Last Update: Tuesday June 15, 2021

Key Idea: Provide Technical And Communication Training

Pam McNair, founder of Gadabout SalonSpas,  says that employees will only be as good as you expect them to be.

Key Question:


The only way to grow a business is to grow a team of some sort. There is no way to get around it. People are the raw materials you must commit to working with, day in and day out, if you want to grow a company. Businesses that lead with service must fully understand this concept because delivering service requires psychological heavy lifting. Every service provider needs psychological muscle. Lots of it. Psychological muscle gives the employee strength to cope with mean, demanding people and even turn them into nice people. The strong employee can can bounce back quickly from a situation that made them feel bad. Training increases confidence and quality so it must be done regularly.

Why does the owner have to deal with an employee's feelings?

A: When people feel good they do good. When they feel bad they do bad. This is especially important when you are delivering a service and when it is one as intimate as facials and haircuts, it is critical. Pam's goal is to create a place where every employee feels safe, calm and confident. Employees even said, Gadabout is, "one place you can count on in your life." This is an example of the trend we've experienced during the last decade of the 20th century. We have witnessed the break-down of the family unit and at the same time we see businesses trying to create a family-like feel in the workplace. Pam is on top of this. She was a single Mom for years and she has plenty of women at Gadabout who are the sole support for their families. It is clear that Pam is achieving her goal to be a great place to work.

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

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.

Great communicators can have what they want and do what they want in life. We see this proven in every field and while Pam is not a public speaker, she is a powerful communicator. She understands that communication is the oil in the service machine. Gadabout sells plenty of products but it leads with service and in all service-based businesses, communication becomes the product. 

Think about it

What do you do now to help people feel good about themselves? What can you start doing? 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: The People Part

All around the World:  In this episode we explore what it takes to build a team. We talk to business owners in New York City, Stamford, Seattle, Chicago, Tucson, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Dallas, San Diego, and Las Cruces.

The first step in having a sustainable business is to hire good people who are able to carry on in your absence.  As a sole proprietor, we create a job for ourselves and work for our sub-contractors and suppliers.  When you become  an employer, you create jobs for others and put yourself in position to build a legacy and renewable asset.

If you believe your business concept is big enough to live beyond you and if you want to surround yourself with just the right people to make it happen, please study each key idea.

The more successful a business owner becomes, the more likely it is you will hear them say, "The single most important factor in this business is the people." By re-examining very specific parts of prior episodes of the show, we give you the very best thinking about what it takes to grow your business by hiring, training and inspiring others.  This positions you to turn over the leadership when you are ready to make a transition and go on to other projects.

All the key ideas and videos of this episode...
The homepage for this episode...

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

Provide Technical And Communication Training

HATTIE: At Gadabout Salon and Spas, founder Pam McNair invests continuously in technical and personal growth education.

PAM: We have a culture here, and you can't just walk into it and be hired and be part of that culture. You have to grow into it. So everyone who comes to work for us knows up front what our expectations are. What this allows them to do is, over the long run of their profession, is it allows them to be in the profession longer. It also allows them to make more money so that they're better prepared, not just--technically, anyone can learn how to cut hair. But it's the people skills that aren't necessarily there when you get out of school because you haven't had the experience. So there's a number of things we have to learn.

HATTIE: Tell me why you think working here is unique.

Unidentified Woman #2: There's many benefits: Pam, number one, of course; all your other co-workers. They're trained, they're knowledgeable.

HATTIE: So you feel you're working with the best of breed.

Unidentified Woman #2: Yes, absolutely.

HATTIE: And that makes you probably feel proud. Unidentified Woman #2: Yes.

HATTIE: So many people feel their lives are different. I mean, that's just, like, something huge to say about a workplace.

Unidentified Woman #3: Oh, definitely.

Unidentified Woman #2: Well, it's one place you can count on in your life.

GLORIA: We're a family, actually, and I think that makes a big difference.

HATTIE: What is it about her that makes people love to work here?

GLORIA: Oh, I think she's a great person. She stands behind us. We do a lot of education.

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.

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

PAM: If you feel good about where you work, you feel good about what you do, you feel good about who you are, you can be successful at anything you do because then you have the ability to be an excellent service provider. You really care about the client because someone cares about you. We have a number of programs in place that we've worked on over the years to create a culture by which anyone who works with Gadabout, hopefully, feels safe and calm and confident in not only what they do, but who they are because every individual is of great importance to this company.

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