You Know You Have a Bald Spot Back Here, Right?
When I was a sophomore in college, I wasn’t particularly concerned about my hair, but I certainly didn’t want my hair stylist (yes, I used to have one of those) to inform me that I had a bald spot.
I was mortified. I never went back to her.
It was 100% true, but I had no intention of facing it and definitely didn’t want anyone telling me at 21 years old that I was going bald.
She was a professional. She had people in her chair all day long and had seen me in that same chair many times before that day.
Why did she take that risk?
Looking back, here are my assumptions about her rationale:
- She was stating a fact – “he can’t get mad at me if it’s just a fact!”
- She was being honest – honesty, especially when I might be able to do something about it at this age, seemed like a good move.
- She probably thought I already knew – “he has to already know, so how tough could the information be to digest?”
- She was trying to help – knowing that “if” I cared, it might be easier to address at 21 than 31 or later.
Whatever her reasoning, it was something I was neither wanting nor ready to hear.
In recruiting, we often squander opportunities by not being honest enough, not stating facts enough, and not being as helpful as we could be.
When you see a poorly written resume, save that person from themselves and share your perspective on how to improve it.
When you know someone doesn’t interview well or could use suggestions on how to interview better, let them know what you think would increase their odds.
When you see them posting things that might not improve their chances of getting a future employer’s attention, offer your perspective.
If they have a negative attitude, don’t take feedback well, or interrupt you while you talk – let them know that those things don’t make them more attractive candidates in anyone’s eyes.
You can do all of this empathetically and by asking, “Can I share some feedback with you that might be tough to hear?”
It took me a long time to accept life as a bald guy, but I look back at the money I spent on products, stylists, and worrying about wind messing up my hair 😉.
I think about how much money and time I could have saved and how much happier I would have been if I had just accepted it earlier. She didn’t have the softest approach, but she wasn’t wrong to try and make me aware of something I wasn’t able to “see” (literally) myself.
You’d be surprised how many people will thank you for your insight. At the end of the day, most of us want to know where we can improve, and though I loved having hair, I’m now strikingly more handsome as a bald guy!