This is the 12th of a series of newsletters published on Business Management and Management Skills. Not all topics will apply to your business, but each section will be beneficial to establish company goals and objectives. By reading and studying
these newsletter articles, you’re taking the first step in achieving your goals.

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Recognize that you are a respected businessperson, and conduct yourself accordingly. Look, dress and act in a manner that reflects your position as a decision-maker and manager of people. Developing the skills of self-confidence will help you overcome any inhibitions or shyness you may feel. Observe other industry leaders. Note the way they enter a room or interact with other individuals with assurance and confidence. Meet with them on equal terms, and don’t allow customers to overpower you. Let your conduct instill confidence of others in you, which is the key to successful selling and negotiation.

You must earn the respect of your employees, but in a positive way. It’s not necessary or professional to discuss errors or problems that have been made publicly in the office. Corrections, directions, and constructive criticism should be made privately in a conversation between the two people involved. In regard to criticism (whether giving it or receiving it), the way you react to criticism will be remembered more vividly than the argument you present. Raising your voice or using inflammatory language should never be done. These reactions hurt your chance for future communication.

In order to gain respect, management must be competent. Workers and management should share mutual respect. Be frank, be friendly, and be fair! Your attitude and the attitude of your staff are reflected to the public. Make sure your firm reflects a positive image.

This involves treating with respect everyone you come into contact with, including the public, inspectors, vendors, customers, etc. Never diminish another for the purpose of making yourself appear more important or successful. Acknowledge that your employees are human and, as such, are capable of error as well as success. Any fool can condemn, and complain - and most fools do! Never make negative comments about your competition. Let them do their own advertising.

For personal possessions such as clothing, buy what you like and what is becoming to you without regard to price. If you’re not accustomed to spending money on your personal needs, get in the habit. Presenting a professional image is an important step in becoming a professional. Remember, appearance is the first thing noticed by customers or visitors to your office. It is important that all employees, especially those in the reception area, dress professionally and present a good overall appearance.

If you’re having difficulty speaking in public, join Toastmasters International or an organization that concentrates on public speaking, or read a book or two about it. As your company grows in size, you’ll need to be able to speak well in public, to present your ideas, and to communicate with several people at one time. Fear is a normal emotion when one starts speaking in public - just like it was when you first started to ride a bike!

Act the part, dress the part - conduct yourself with businesslike attitudes, speech, and manners at all times.

Mike Holt’s Comment: This newsletter article was extracted from Mike Holt’s Business Management and Management Skills’ Workbook. Watch for our next newsletter, and as always, we invite your comments and feedback. Send us your real-life experiences. We value your opinions and participation. Please respond to Barbara at And… be sure to visit Mike Holt’s Web site at

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