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Partnerships need to be equal and supportive, and there has to be good communication -- Bombshells had none of that. It was two owners acting like individuals, not communicating with each other or their staff. One owner was treating the salon like an ATM machine, taking money and buying things whenever she wanted, while the other owner carried the burden of debt. It was confusing to the staff, it was building resentments, and it was causing the business to fail.
The staff felt like they had to pick sides and it was difficult for them. They just wanted bosses that were on the same page and helping guide them. All the staff had thought about leaving, and some had actually already handed in their notice. It was interesting listening to the staff -- they all felt like Jennifer was a doormat to Tiffany and was so stressed that she wasn’t proactive, and Tiffany did whatever she wanted when she wanted. As with children, the staff knew who the good cop was and who was the bad cop was, so they knew how to play the game of getting what they wanted. However they also recognized it wasn’t helping them, their business, or the salon and it had to change.
I had a hard time getting through to Tiffany. She was incredibly defensive when I spoke to her and had many excuses for her actions and behavior. Jennifer on the other hand was like a ticking time bomb. She was very emotional and stressed, and I could see she couldn’t continue the way she was. I decided to have them do an obstacle course tethered together as a quick way to get them communicating and relying on each other, because just talking wasn’t getting through to them. I hoped it would break down walls, and it worked. I was surprised at how well Tiffany motivated and encouraged Jennifer when she was having a hard time on the course.
It was great that Jennifer took over the finances, since it wasn’t Tiffany’s forte. I felt the girls were starting to get on the same page, the staff felt that so as well. I am optimistic about their future.