We caught up with Dr. Lew Losoncy: “Doctor of Encouragement” author, motivator and high energy expert on leadership attitude and success. Dr. Lew is a motivational psychologist for DevaCurl and he will be presenting to our Chatters team this fall at our national symposium. It’s easy to see why he has been so successful and we look forward to hearing an amazing motivational message. One of the highlights of our symposium is our motivational sessions and we know our team is eager to absorb it all and share it with you, our valued guests. Here are a few of Dr. Lew’s thoughts below.
How did you get your start in this amazing life role you have right now?
I had a private psychologist counselling practice in Pennsylvania. I was writing on encouragement in relationships for teachers and salespeople. My goal was to help develop an encouraging world where everyone knew the principles of encouragement. One day I was meeting with a patient, who said she actually didn’t take my advice. I asked her why not? She said “I talked to my hairdresser who said I should do something different.” I was fascinated with that. I needed to know more about the amazing hairdresser’s mindset and influence over her customer, someone who could offer life changing advice. I pursued a connection with a beauty supply distributor who would allow me to talk to hairdressers. So I started speaking at hairdresser conventions and got to know a lot of hairdressers. I developed the idea of pairing psychology and cosmetology together. A brand new field was born, called psycosmetology, and I wrote a book about it. This book ended up creating a beautiful movement in the US, Canada and a few counties in Europe. Hairdressers were getting a hairdressing education mixed with the science of psychology. It touched on keeping yourself motivated, and finding higher meaning in your work as a hairdresser. So I say, when people ask you what you do, don’t just say “I’m a hairdresser.” I want you to say, “I cosmetically and psychologically transform self-images and destinies of fellow human beings. I’m a psycosmetologist.”
It sounds like it was an amazing time in your life.
It certainly was. Then, later, I was in Cleveland, Ohio and a man came up to me, asking me to join his company. It was Arnold Miller of Matrix. He invited me to tour North America, talking to hairdressers about what they do. So I did that and travelled the world for 30 years. Our sessions weren’t a piece of cake. Sometimes we had 8 hours of education for 8 days. This was intense!
Sounds like you are an encouragement master!
You know after the days of Matrix I joined Devacurl and began delivering an intense program in psycurlogy. This involves dealing with stress and using humor, developing teamwork and skills so the stylists would never lose another customer ever again. I became obsessed really, with encouragement, and helping beauty professionals be sensitive and recognize the personality of their guest so they could relate to them.
In the salon world our beauty professionals are ambitious. But just how much do we aspire to reach our potential?
Think about this. Every single day clients come in and see a hairdresser. When the service is done the hairdresser turns that person to look in the mirror and have a reaction at how their hair looks. This is something hard for anyone to do, but a hairdresser does this without even thinking. When you talk about going into competition, stylists are frozen because I think it’s not natural for them. It’s natural for them to stand behind a chair but it’s not natural for an audience to judge them.
This makes a lot of sense. So can you help stylists not fear competition?
Yes, I believe I can. After I make my presentation to an audience of stylists, I often see that they experience a jolt! Some will leave the program prouder of their profession than they have ever felt in their whole life. With my program they are going to get another perspective, and that is that they have an entire impact on people. How people feel about their hair is how they feel about their life. Nobody has ever revealed this encouragement method to stylists in the same way that I have. I teach them to understand that this is so much more than a job. And in fact, as stylists you are changing the world. There are so many rewards to being in the beauty industry. Courage, confidence and hope that is the nature of this work. It’s so much more than making money to pay bills.
Do you think most of us are really actually afraid of success?
I tend not to use the word success. I use the word growth. Growth means expanding beyond where you are. I like to help people realize all the little ways they can grow I agree that one challenge with success is in the mentality. People tend to set lower goals of themselves because the alternative to success is failure. Deep down they think, “I can protect myself from failure by not setting goals too high.” This is what I have to say about that-“never make the mistake of limiting the visions of your future by the narrow experiences of your past.”
Tell us other ways you discuss the topic of growth.
I ask people. Have you gone further than you thought you’d go in life? 90 percent of people will say yes. Now isn’t that telling you something? I want to see everyone bring on the best part of their life…professionally and socially, spiritually and financially.
What are you proud of in your career?
I have helped to build company culture. Many companies are seeking help to build an encouraging culture where they know how to work together and resolve conflicts. We’re better together than alone. Culture unifies us to be powerful. The public starts to sense there is something different out there. Then they see that this salon has taken the time to do more than study the technical field, but also time to develop human sensitivity. This is an absolute gift to the customer.