According to a few web definitions, communication is a purposeful activity of exchanging thoughts, messages, information and meaning across space and time using various technical or natural means. Great communication is one of the keys to a successful business. Clients can go anywhere and get good service but they stay with the therapist who creates the best atmosphere, treats them with respect and have good interpersonal skills. In a business setting, we communicate these through our professional appearance and professional conduct.
Professional appearance consists of personal hygiene, dress sense and physical presentation. Personal hygiene is daily maintenance of cleanliness and healthiness (Gerson, 2004). For example well shaped and well groomed eyebrows increase your client’s confidence in your service and competence. Your flawless skin with natural and minimal make up can promote your product range and adds credibility to your recommendation. Brushing teeth, washing hands and freshening up through the day communicates your sense of pride in your appearance.
A therapists clothing should be clean, ironed, comfortable, modest and provide good mobility. Tide back hair and natural look make up creates a sense of comfort and confidence. Good inner health and skin care regime results in good skin that does not require heavy make up.
Professional conduct communicates your attitude and work ethic. Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia describes attitude as an expression of favour or disfavour toward a person, place, thing, or event. Work ethic is a value based on hard work and diligence.
A healthy and well developed attitude communicates great conduct. A therapist can showcase this through
- Diplomacy: Being honest with tact and without judgement.
- Emotional stability: Expressing emotions, boundaries and feelings without going overboard.
- Receptivity: Responsively and genuinely listening to opinions, feelings and ideas.
- Sensitivity: Criticising constructively while showing compassion.
- Discretion: Maintaining professional boundaries and standards. Keeping anything your client shares confidential.
A therapist can communicate their great work ethic by being a team player, resolving conflict and handing difficult clients.
You can be a team player by gaining trust, encouraging unity, being cooperative and sharing workload and respecting differences.
You can resolve conflict by managing your anger, being assertive, seeking help from higher authority and refraining from criticizing.
A therapist’s communication skills can be really tested when dealing with a difficult client. Gerson, (2004) suggests that offensive words and actions should not be taken personally. While dealing with clients:
- respect boundaries
- do not give personal and health advice
- be assertive but respectful
- Think before you speak
- Listen actively and use language that evokes positive response
- Acknowledge concern and state how you will address them.
Professional conduct and professional appearance communicate our attitude and work ethics to our clients. Look good, be honest, earn respect and show assertiveness. A great example of this was when my partner went to this lovely North Brisbane Beauty Salon called Beauty on Travorten. My partner said that the therapist listened to my concerns and addressed them sensitively.
Milady’s Standard Fundamentals for Estheticians