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Sometimes You Don’t Have All of the Answers and That’s Ok!


Studio Owner Article


Improve Staff and Customer Communication

Read that through again and really let it sink in. Now, I am not suggesting that you put something off because you want to avoid any confrontation but when you give yourself time to gather all of the facts and think them through, the answers, in many cases will come to you clearer and most of the time with better results. Much better!

Visualize this, an angry parent comes storming into the studio and they are upset because their child came out to the car crying because of some perceived slight that took place during class. Ok, breath, you agree to meet with them. In these situations, you may very well not have all the answer, and you need to know, that’s alright. This is the moment to give yourself time  and gather information and then you can make a smart, educated, unemotional response and come up with a resolution that is best for all involved. Quick rash decisions very often come back to bite you in the backside. Many business owners feel that they need to come up with quick decisions that they later regret once  they have acquired more information about what has taken place.

The fact is this same scenario plays out every day in dance studios all over the world. The cast may change but issues pop up all over the place. Instead of a parent maybe it is a student, staff or faculty member. It could possibly be your landlord, business partner or banker that comes in wanting answers to questions that you don’t have right at your fingertips. Breathe and remember, time is your friend!

So, what can you say to give you more time?

I have consulted our VIP coaching members to use some of these phrases when confronted with a situation that needs time to figure out the best solution.

“Let me look into this and I will get back to you tomorrow”

“I do apologize that this happened, this is not acceptable, let me gather all the details and get back to you”

“I understand you are upset but I am just learning about this. Let me find out exactly what happened and we can meet to discuss the best way to move forward.”

“I want to write down your concerns or issues and let me work on this for a day or so and I will get back to you”

“This is very disturbing to hear. I understand your concerns but I will need a bit of time to see how best to fix what has happened or to see the best way to solve this problem”

As you can see, most of these answers have a time limit so you can’t and should not just sweep them under the rug and forget about them. The key is you now have time to figure out the best solution and I have found that in running a business for 32 years that when I give myself time, ninety nine percent of the time I come up with a better solution because I now have been able to think it through and come up with a positive decision. Rash decision are often emotional ones and not always the best way to handle business issues.

These answers also convey a feeling of concern on your part and that you are in control. That you are taking what is being told to you seriously and that you are determined to come up with a solution. I have used these phrases myself and have found that sometimes the other person ends up thanking me for being so receptive and they actually look forward to hearing from me.

Business issues require your mind to think in a business-like way. Whether it be dealing with a customer, employee, partner or landlord. Business is best done when you are calm and thinking like a business man or women. I recommend that you take the personal, emotional component out of the equation as much as possible. Now I know this can be very hard sometimes because our businesses are so much a part of our lives. And we live and breathe with what happens in our studios. But, like it or not. You are running a business first. Yes, you love what you are doing and for the most part everyone that is involved with your school. But always keep in mind you are the business owner. You are directing what happens in all dealings that take place there. You and only you. How you act and react will send a loud message to everyone at your studio.

A few quick tips:

Don't meet or communicate at night, after classes when you are tired.

Don't communicate by text or emails with customer issues or problems. Face to face during business hours is best.

Don't accept abusive or  disrespectful behavior from anyone.

Set start and end times for all meetings and stick to it!

Next month I will delve into solutions for exact problems that may come up during the course of the year and provide you with a simple three step process to come up with the best solution. In the meantime, when faced with any business crisis, breathe and remember, it’s ok to give yourself time. As the matter of fact, it is the only way to handle any tough decision.


Steve Sirico

Steve Sirico

Steve is co-founder of Dance Teacher Web the number one online resource for dance teachers and studio owners worldwide.He is Co-Director of the very successful D'Valda and Sirico Dance and Music Center in Fairfield, CT for the past thirty plus years. His students have gone on to very successful careers in dance, music and theater. Originally from Norwalk, Ct, Steve excelled in track and football. He attended the University of Tennessee at Martin on a sports scholarship. Deciding to switch and make his career in the world of dance, he studied initially with Mikki Williams and then in New York with Charles Kelley and Frank Hatchett. He has appeared in a number of theatre productions such as Damn Yankees, Guys and Dolls and Mame in New York and around the country and in industrials and television shows. He was contracted to appear as the lead dancer in the Valerie Peters Special a television show filmed in Tampa, Florida. After meeting Angela DValda during the filming they formed the Adagio act of DValda & Sirico appearing in theatres, clubs and on television shows such as David Letterman, Star Search and the Jerry Lewis Telethon. In 1982 they were contracted to Europe and appeared in a variety of shows in Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Italy before going to London, England where they appeared as Guest Artists for Wayne Sleep (formerly of the Royal Ballet) in his show Dash at the Dominium Theatre. Author of his Jazz Dance syllabus and co-author of a Partner syllabus both of which are used for teacher training by Dance Educators of America, He has also co-authored two books one for dance teachers and one for studio owners in the "It's Your Turn" Book series. He is available for master classes, private business consulting and teacher training development

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