Published on Fri/2/2012 A beauty therapists’s softer skills are not always appreciated in The Apprentice
In The Apprentice 2011 episode four we saw that Ellie’s protestations about not being a ‘girly girl’ was not only a clue she was going to hide from this element of the competition but was also perhaps her realisation that she lacks the sensitivity to do the required stress reducing beautification tasks. Furthermore I would guess the statement is her explanation to those noticing she lacks some empathy and socialising skills normally required of a good leader.
We did see however how Ellie was very capable at fighting hard in the boardroom and my regular readers would know that this is a trait I believe to be unnecessary. Suzie was the self-styled beauty expert. She boasted perhaps too much that her skills were in selling cosmetics, but hid the fact that she knew nothing about treatments. Although in the same sector these are two separate roles each resting on very distinct skill banks. I suspect Suzie is more familiar with standing on the ground floor of a department store amongst the other ‘spray girls’ but that requires competencies for driving sales, persistence, determination and negotiation.
The behaviour we saw from Suzie indicates she might lack the ability to fuse a team together whenever there is a rift. Far from having the skills of managing conflict we saw on this episode how Suzie’s response was central to much of the escalation of negative emotions, conflict and dissent in her group. This reveals that Suzie’s might also be lacking the softer skills now required of organisational leaders, despite coming from a female friendly environment. This view should quash Ellies worry that she’s a failure because she’s not a ‘girly girl’. You’ll read later that it’s the softer management skills that matter and not the leader’s identity any more. Despite being tasked to perform relaxing spa treatments for members of the public both team leaders especially lacked the stress reducing management competencies now recommended by the Health and Safety Executive: Below is a summary of what HSE recommends as stress reducing management competencies HSE management skills and stress/ anxiety reducing sub competencies When deploying demands about the workload, work patterns and the work environment.
Take a considerate approach Be proactive in managing work Understand and facilitate problem solving process and orientation Engage in a participative leadership style In deciding how much say the individual team members have about their work (levels of control HSE) take a considerate approach Use a participative leadership style (allowing team to share knowledge and views) use empathetic engagement In giving support either from sponsorship, organisational resources, line management and colleagues it should mean: Being