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If you’re a small business owner and a painting contractor, chances are you might think that in order to succeed, all you need is technical skill to deliver your product or service.


While having the relevant skills for your niche helps immensely, there’s another set of know-how that can’t be ignored if you want your business to flourish: people-skills.


This blog post will show how having strong interpersonal communication and customer service skills can help any small business, whether you are a painting contractor or other small business, reach its potential and beyond!


Communication is much more than talking! As a business owner, it’s important to understand that communication entails not only speaking clearly and effectively with potential customers, but also includes listening. By taking the time to listen and ask questions, you can better assess what the customer needs and wants before jumping into selling-mode or suggesting resolutions to their paint problems.


The same holds true for building your team. Good communication involves creating an open atmosphere where your employees feel comfortable talking to you…emotionally safe. This will make them more likely to share ideas and feedback that could help your business grow.


Listening is key to understanding how best to serve your customers and employees. Both need to feel heard, and by taking the time to listen carefully to their wants and needs.


Ask yourself this question, “When my employee is speaking to me, am I really listening, or am I actually crafting my response instead?”


What is empathy anyways? Simply put, empathy is the ability to understand and relate to another person’s feelings. Feelings…yes, this is IMPORTANT in your business.


It’s crucial as a business owner to remember that each customer or employee you speak with has individual needs and wants. By being able to empathize, you can better connect with them on a personal level and develop a rapport that goes beyond just paint colors or job description.


Strong customer service and interpersonal skills entails having respect for the other party’s feelings, needs and wants…even if you don’t agree with them or think their requests are a little out there. You may have to step outside of your comfort zone at times, but by being patient and understanding your customers and employees, you can help foster a sense of trust and respect that will take your business to the next level.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage one’s own emotions and understand the emotions of others. When disagreements arise on the job site or in the office, it’s important to understand that emotions can cloud our judgment, and we need to be able to take a step back and assess the situation objectively.


As a business owner, you need to constantly practice emotional intelligence so that you’re able to view each situation from all angles. Remember, even when disagreements arise, there is usually a reasonable solution if you’re willing to take the time to look for it.


Whether finding solutions to customer problems or working through office conflicts, emotional intelligence can help you stay level-headed and make decisions that are in the best interest of your business.


Teamwork is the ability to work collaboratively with others towards a common goal. If you can’t build a great team, you’ll forever be stuck in Contractor Prison.


As a business owner, it’s important to foster an environment that encourages teamwork and collaboration. By creating an atmosphere where employees feel like their ideas are valued and respected, you can create a workplace where people grow and ideas that are better than yours arise.


Now, this may sound all soft and wimpy to some, but if your employees do not feel valued, they won’t be able to give you their best.

Conflict resolution

As you build a team, conflicts and disagreements come with it. If you are not equipped to handle conflicts head-on, your team will never move beyond them. Even worse, your team can implode.


As a business owner, you need to be able to take the initiative in resolving any workplace disputes between employees or with customers. This may include going through all sides of the argument and taking the time to understand each party’s perspective. Again, this means listening and seeking understanding so you can resolve conflicts and disagreements constructively and positively.


Great leaders inspire and motivate others toward a shared vision or goal. As a business owner or manager, leadership is an essential quality for success. You need to be able to inspire, motivate and empower those who work with you in order to reach greater heights. Leadership is a lifelong pursuit, and there’s no better time to start than the present.


For more on leadership, jump over to my article How Leadership Improved My Own Life.


Adaptability is the ability to adjust to changing situations and environments. Rather than be a grumpy, closed-minded leader… “Well, that’s just the way I manage”, begin to understand that we all have different personalities, strengths, and weaknesses.


You need a well-rounded team if you are really going places(upward). Adapting your communication, meaning your pace and your priority is a key to leading people and building the team that you need. Personality assessments like DISC have helped me and others immensely with this.


To learn more about DISC, read How To Use Disc Personality Styles for Better Results in Your Business and Home Life.

Positive attitude

In addition to all the points above simply maintaining a positive and optimistic attitude i powerful. No one wants to work for someone with a negative attitude.


Show enthusiasm, confidence, and charisma so that people want to work with you now and in the future.

In Summary

Developing strong people skills can help you to build strong relationships, which are vital to building a team and a great company that can thrive even while you are on vacation, or even on a dinner date. People-skills are a vital ingredient in escaping Contractor Prison. So put these on your radar, and get to work on sharpening your skills.