To mark International Men’s Day on 19 November, Andrew Kozlov, Men’s Grooming Ireland’s Creative Director, reveals that empathy and trust are key to being a successful positive role model in his Dublin barbershop.
Andrew’s founding mission for MGI was to establish a high-quality haven for men to enjoy the best quality modern barbering skills and service. But, in addition to this, his goal was also to create a supportive, nurturing and educational environment for the next generation of barbers in Dublin. And he attributes being a positive role model as key to developing the young barbers who work for him.
What does being a positive role model mean to you?
I become a positive role model by modelling the very best behaviour and attitudes for all of our barbers to emulate. Brilliant client service means that our customers will always come back. And the key to brilliant service is not only how you act but also how you observe, how you listen and how effectively you solve your clients’ grooming issues.
At this stage, with over 20 years’ experience, I can almost read my clients’ minds. As soon as I look at them, I already know what their styling issues are before they tell me. But this is a skill you learn over time. When you are starting out, you have to be able to listen and question in order to fully understand and empathise with what is most concerning your client. And the main trick is to leave your clients empowered; teaching them tricks and skills so that they know how to manage their grooming at home once they have left the salon.
What are the key attributes of client care?
Number one is trust. Our branding, our website, the design of the shop and the look of our staff all convey the message that we are an establishment that can be trusted. Then, as soon as clients have visited us, our skill and understanding confirm those initial feelings of trust.
The second attribute is comfort. Any man that sets foot in our salon should feel instantly comfortable. A warm welcome, a comfortable seat and the offer of a drink all set the scene and begin to calm any anxiety they may feel about getting a haircut.
I always tell my barbers to treat every customer as he was their dad. You would always want your father to be respected and cared for and be made to feel both special and important.
We all have bad days but personal issues and moods have to be left behind at the door of the salon. The barbers are here to look after the needs of their clients, to help them look and feel happy and to be empowered about their appearance.
What are the key attributes of managing your staff?
I think empathy and respect are important. I can easily understand how my barbers think, can appreciate what is important to them and have understanding for what might be happening in their lives outside of the barbershop.
I’ve been in their shoes; I’ve worked for barbershops with some good bosses and some not so good. And I’ve learnt from every experience, negative and positive. I put all of this into practice, modelling my management style on all the positive role models that I’ve experienced in my career.
Who was your own positive role model?
Apart from the good bosses, I think my mum was my main positive role model. She worked in the hairdressing business too and I watched how she was a boss but also a committed educator. She cared more about her staff and her client than about sales and revenue figures.
I’ve also learnt a lot about self reliance in my life. You don’t need to rely on anyone else – trust your own mind and your own power. And don’t ever be afraid to make decisions.
Men’s Grooming Ireland is one of the best barbershops located in Stillorgan, South Dublin and is known for its prestige, clientèle and traditions. MGI is committed to nurturing, educating and supporting young barbers and are currently looking for new talent to join our team. Visit our Careers page for more information.
Contact us today! Phone: 01 288 28 70 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The 19 November 2019 is International Men’s Day. The 6 Pillars of International Men’s Day are:
- To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sports men but every day, working class men who are living decent, honest lives.
- To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, childcare, and to the environment.
- To focus on men’s health and wellbeing; social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
- To highlight discrimination against men; in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law
- To improve gender relations and promote gender equality
- To create a safer, better world; where people can be safe and grow to reach their full potential.