If there is a problem with someone, have a meeting immediately. Talk it out one-on-one. If silence ensues, do something to promote dialogue. But be careful. If emotions are running high, consciously wait for the situation to calm down.

Be accessible. Give people an opportunity to leave a private message if you are not available.

Promote fluid communication among your staff by providing various meeting opportunities for one-on- one conversation. Scheduled group meetings are prime tools that provide everyone a forum for communicating. But keep meetings brief.

Can your staff, clients, and potential clients find out more about you through a website or social media? Do you talk about yourself to the people around you, or do you stay on the sidelines? Mysterious people typically don’t do well in business or friendship.

Get to the point. Unless you are at a barbecue on a Saturday afternoon, cut yourself and those around you a break by getting on with things. In business, be cordial and friendly, but don’t overdo it.

Speak authoritatively and clearly to the people you supervise. What they want from you is concise direction, respect, and paychecks that arrive on time.

Never bash others behind their backs. It’s low-class, and any employee, client, or relative who has any degree of sophistication will consciously or subconsciously devalue you. Talk up to people if that is the context. Your client, who is paying you, wants the bottom line–your personal friendship, clever witticisms, or too much small-talk are not part of the deal. Likewise, with your boss, while you take direction and provide information, be cordial but brief.Note: Centratel CEO and international business consultant Sam Carpenter has written extensively on the concepts of system improvement and the systems mindset. Centratel’s HVAC Answering Service assists hundreds of heating, ventilation and air conditioning businesses during and after-hours, throughout the United States and is, by a variety of statistics, the highest quality answering service available among the approximately 1,500 services nationwide.

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