Redken's Chris Baran on Celebrating and Embracing Mistakes at NRAC

Kicking off the first full day of Redken’s National Artist Exchange—held in Austin, Texas, January 13-16, 2018—Chris Baran, Redken’s Education Artistic Director, addressed the room packed with hundreds of Redken artists and trainers to talk about the challenges they face in the classroom when teaching.

“If I could give you a little information that would help you not only in your learning experience, but in the way you can help break down barriers when you’re in a classroom so that they’re willing to listen to you, and give you the benefit of the doubt,” Baran says.

“Let’s begin by talking about how your brain is programmed. We say we only use a small amount of our brain—we call this our conscious. That conscious part tends to be very positive. Like, ‘I’m going to lose weight by Symposium.’ Our brains are consciously wired to keep us comfortable. The other part of your brain is the subconscious, and inside of that is our little voice. This is what is holding you back in your classrooms. Let’s talk about managing and controlling that little voice, which can be very negative.”

Baran gave the room an exercise where attendees had 30 seconds to draw the person sitting next to them. When the 30 seconds was up, everyone giggled at their drawings. There were murmurs of “I’m sorry.”

“We live in a judgmental society, and we’re ranked higher by what we know and lower if you make mistakes,” Baran says. “It’s that little voice that keeps you from participating. Are you going to be the person who goes how and say ‘Damn, I had the chance to be coached and my little voice held me hostage and I didn’t get the opportunity.’ There will be a good chance you make a mistake, but be okay with that.”

Baran told the room to think of children, when they present a picture they drew of someone, they do it with joy, and pride.

“Somehow our brains have been programmed that the moment we do something that’s a little different, adults say, ‘I’m sorry.’ We view it as a mistake. We want to make an excuse. ‘I wasn’t given enough time.’” Baran says. “We need to reprogram. Be proud. Stay open. Stay present. When you make a mistake, you aren’t a loser. You are a learner. And that’s a win.”


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