Ask the Experts: How Can I Create a Drama-Free Studio?

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Q: It seems like all the studios around me are dealing with falling-outs related to teacher drama. How can I create an atmosphere in my studio where this won't happen?


A: Open communication is key. Parents will naturally advocate for their children, especially if they are concerned about any unfairness coming from any member of your faculty. Listen to them so that they don't take their complaints to people who can't solve them. Gossip can escalate into a toxic culture.

Hold your staff accountable: Set clear expectations, including a set of behavior and professional standards, with stated consequences, should they be violated. You can start with a set of core values, principles of business conduct, or simply a mission statement that you declare to be the axis for all ways of being around the business. If it's difficult to gather your staff, try using a private Facebook group to host a Facebook live meeting. Be sure to record the meeting for future reference.

Annual performance reviews for teachers can set standards of excellence and accountability, as well as give studio owners the chance to acknowledge their staff's successes. If, after attempting to coach or train a teacher on repeated occasions, the toxic behavior continues, you may decide that this teacher is not a good fit for your studio. We have found that a teacher who perpetually causes drama is a serious threat to business and should be terminated.

Your good intentions and prompt actions to resolve conflict and create a supportive and positive atmosphere will be recognized and appreciated even when it can be difficult to replace a teacher.

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