Speak up in small situations

Hi Empowerista,

I’m working on speaking up more. Not simply for the sake of speaking up. But for the sake of standing up for what’s integrous.

Last week I had the opportunity to exercise this skill in a low stake environment -- the salon.

Here’s why this seemingly silly story is actually important: “How you do anything is how you do everything."

If we get used to speaking up in small, low stake areas of our life, it will be much easier to speak up in the big, high stake areas. Think of it like practice.

On to my story.

I sign up for a partial highlight online. I’m in the salon chair and noticing my stylist is doing a couple new techniques -- like using cotton around a few of the highlights and painting my front baby hairs. But nothing too crazy. So I don’t say anything. Plus, he always does a great job, so I trust him. And I was clear about what I wanted (a partial highlight), so I’m thinking there shouldn’t be any confusion.

He doesn’t say anything about doing anything differently and doesn’t ask me if I want any extra services beyond what I signed up for.

My hair is done. I love it. Looks exactly like it did last time… when I got a partial highlight.

Then I go to check out and it’s about $80 more than expected.

“What?!?!” I scream inside to myself.

I take a deep breath and say out loud: “I’m confused why it’s so much.”

He goes on to tell me for the first time about the three additional services he did. Apparently that’s where the cotton and baby hairs came in. And he charged me for a deep condition…. “Ahh, so that’s what you had sitting in my hair for 5 minutes,” I thought to myself.

Again, he never asked me if I wanted any of this.

My nice girl complex kicks in and I’m feeling bad because I’m now realizing he did extra work and I’m doubting myself thinking: “should I have noticed and said something earlier?” Not to mention, I like how it turned out.

But when I thought about what I truly felt was integrous -- it wasn’t doing extra services without asking or (at the very least) telling the customer.

So I spoke up and respectfully said: “I’m sorry there was a misunderstanding. I signed up for a partial highlight, and you never talked to or asked me if I wanted any other services.”

After a bit of back and forth, he then removed the extra charges.

I’m sure his intentions were good. But I didn’t believe this was an integrous way to do business. So needless to say, I won’t be going back there.

That’s not the point of the story though.

The point is:

  1. Respectfully speak up for what’s integrous to you, your mission and values. Sometimes that means doing the uncomfortable, displeasing thing.
  2. The salon (car shop, etc.) is a really good place to practice.



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