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The 3 A’s–Ingredients for a Peaceful Spa Environment

Esther Francis Joseph August 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

With many different personality types in a skin care facility, the workplace can either be a pleasant place to be or hostile territory. A lot depends on the dynamics and interactions among personnel. When a co-worker has done something inappropriate in the role as manager or as an employee, destructive emotions and reactions can arise. In either position, the repercussions can affect the entire business and, ultimately, the company’s bottom line.

If you are the person in the wrong, it is important to know what to do to resolve the tension you’ve created when seeking to improve morale and return to a positive, productive workplace. A strong, respectful working relationship with bosses, colleagues and subordinates can be achieved by utilizing the following three A’s for a peaceful environment that everyone can enjoy.


A disagreement among team members can emerge due to multiple situations: an e-mail that seemed a bit too harsh in its language; personal phone calls causing the day’s appointments to run late; and numerous other circumstances. If you are the person who is at fault—whether you are the spa manager, owner or a team member—your first step must be to apologize. For decision-makers, this might be difficult to do, but for most people, an apology is a powerful first acknowledgment of responsibility. No matter your title, it means that you understand your error and are not likely to repeat it. It helps to dissipate the anger and other negative emotions from staff members associated with the situation.

In terms of the act of apologizing, it is extremely important to be concise. Frame your apology around the situation at hand, and do not stray from its focus. Avoid long explanations and excuses for your behavior. Acknowledge what you have done, and the impact it has had on others. Show that you regret your action and mention how you will act differently when faced with a similar situation in the future. Perhaps most importantly, conduct your apology in a conference setting, if possible, where there is an opportunity for further conversation from the offended parties.

For most, an apology involves a degree of embarrassment; one has to be humble to apologize. Humility often breeds compassion in others. This exchange of vulnerability and compassion is a necessary step in obtaining closure in many conciliatory situations.


It is equally important to simply agree with whatever feedback you receive from your apology if your goal is to restore that fragile working relationship with your co-workers. Agree with whatever your boss or co-workers have to say in regard to the circumstance. This act of agreeing emphasizes that you are willing to work through the situation, repair it and move beyond it.

If you have apologized and shown remorse for your conduct, it is beneficial at this point to just listen to the input of others without offering any feedback of your own. By paying attention and accepting their contributions, no matter what they might be, you are proving that your regret is truly heartfelt. Your fellow team members will see that and be more willing to forgive you.

Accept responsibility

Accepting responsibility for the situation is the third element in mending a workplace wrong. Be up front and readily accept that the situation is, indeed, your fault. Any attempts to deflect fault will leave you appearing less than genuine. Readily accepting responsibility for both your successes and failures in the spa shows that you are a mature individual and an asset to the company.

When implemented, these three important A’s—apologize, agree and accept responsibility—will establish more positive and productive relationships within the skin care facility. Everyone makes mistakes, and problems will arise in the workplace at one time or another. The ability to handle these situations effectively is the sign of a superior manager, employee or co-worker.

Esther Francis Joseph is a personal and family coach and author of Memories of Hell, Visions of Heaven: A Story of Survival, Transformation, and Hope (FastPencil, Inc., 2011), her personal story of survival and perseverance, despite a violent childhood. Growing up on the picturesque island of St. Lucia, Joseph molded her literary talents with her childhood experiences as she continues down her path to leading a joyous and fulfilled adult life.

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