What I’ve learned about… being a mentor

With more than 30 years teaching and coaching the rising stars of the hairdressing industry, it’s fair to say Bruce Masefield has learned a thing of two about how to get the best from someone. Here, the salon owner and coaching guru reveals the key things he’s picked up along the way

“I have mentored many hairdressers, from new assistants, industry icons of the future to present salon owners. Wella Professionals’ Generation NOW team, Fellowship FAME team, Artistic teams and finalists of the Wella Professionals TrendVision Award are some of the many inspirational groups of people that I have been lucky enough to mentor. I find this extremely energising as it shows that hairdressers are always wanting to move forward and educate themselves to a higher level.

“As a mentor, I have learned how coaching different ages and experiences must be at the forefront of your mind when deciding how to best impart the knowledge you want to share. When planning a session, I always find out what knowledge the mentees I am coaching would like and need to learn. You don’t always get to spend as much time as you’d like with them, so it’s about making the limited time you spend with them as productive as possible. This results in them becoming stronger and, hopefully, helping them get one step closer to their goal.

“It’s also important to respect the team you are mentoring and find out people’s strengths first – this is always a good jumping off point as I find this gives confidence to anyone that has been brave enough to enter a mentoring programme.

“As a mentor it is imperative that you ensure the coaching environment is fun and relaxed as this brings the best out in people. You must also realise that they might find you intimidating. I always find this hard to understand, but the mentees do put you on a pedestal, so it is my belief that I must always be down to earth to put their anxieties to rest.

“Finally feedback is a must. This is another way of showing your respect of the people you are coaching. Provide advice on areas that need to be worked on, as well as the areas that they are strong on – this will make a mentee glad to be taught by you again.

“I also never forget that I am coaching myself, too. I always make sure I’m open to how other people approach things and their energy

“I adore coaching as it makes you focus on your own skillset and the rewards are endless. Helping hairdressers forward themselves in our amazing hairdressing industry is something I will never tire off.”