Spa Culture: Steer Clear of the Gossip and Surpass Your Competition


A client of mine raised her daughter into a poised young lady with social graces. I’ve known them since the daughter was in fourth grade.  She’s graduating college this year and I couldn’t help but remark what a wonderful job my client had done molding her into a well-rounded human being. Her reply: “If you surround her with enough culture, she won’t pay any attention to the gossip.”

The spa industry is full of workers who talk about other workers who talk about their bosses, etc. But it also flows from the other direction. A client talks about her experience at another spa and as human nature would have it, we all get sucked into the conversation. We all love a good piece of gossip. It can be difficult to distance myself from any gossip heard on the street about what is taking place in other spas. In order for me to remain positive, I try to be as diplomatic as possible. “Taking the bait” is one way to look at the situation. If you contribute to the gossip and revel in the mistake your competitor may or may not have made, you may be setting yourself up as the next topic of discussion. What you say will be repeated until it is out of control and takes on a life of its own. In an industry dominated by women that serves mostly women, gossip is viral. We come to know our clients personally to the point where we become too familiar and say things that are not within the boundaries of this profession.

If you find you are being cornered as to what your opinion is on this or that, being diplomatic may not work. The person (a spa colleague, a co-worker, a client) who’s after your viewpoint may not be your friend or your ally, they are just curious. Change the subject or say, “I don’t know.”

This industry has become stigmatized with people who have never left high school (figuratively). It’s filled with smaller minds that talk about other people. Workers become uninspired by the day to day monotony of skin care or massage therapy so much that the one thing that brightens their day is hearing the latest scoop on someone else.

So how does a spa professional surround herself with enough culture so she won’t be tempted to involve herself in the gossip? Spa culture has to do with growth and opportunity in this industry. The tools in order to surpass your competition are available at spa conferences and trade shows. Your mind becomes busy or entertained with new and exciting information or features that will energize you as you return to work. From my experience, I feel as though I am on a natural high and I start to think more about ideas and how they can be incorporated into the services I am already doing. The ideas become morphed into how they can shape or modify the industry for the better. It’s a far cry from the latest update on someone else’s misfortune.

Your clients will appreciate hearing about the classes you have attended and the topics of discussion, i.e. the future of the spa industry, new and exciting trends that are happening. The conversation you have with your clients will be more intelligent and they will see you as a go to source for someone who truly loves what they do. You are also laying the groundwork to be seen as an expert in your field.

You may not have too much control as to who you are surrounded by in your place of work, but you do have control over your own thoughts. Continuing education can take precedence over anything gossip related. It poses as a more powerful “distraction” than hearing someone else’s negativity. Once you rid yourself and your life of the toxic energy that comes from being in a workplace with gossip, you may discover that you no longer have anything in common with the others. It’s almost a natural progression that propels you into greater things.

Want to make a better life for yourself? Invest in yourself. Distance yourself from the norm and find out why certain spa professionals go further than others.