Ever wondered what business professionals expect from you communication-wise? You are not alone. According to the Burning Glass Report, communication is the most important skill needed within the workforce. In the following, Mario Aniceto, Owner and Operations Manager of Cris Solutions Contracting in South Carolina, agrees: communication skills are vital. Mr. Aniceto’s experience may not reflect every aspect of business, but his insight is invaluable regardless of your occupation. Beyond professional advice, Mr. Aniceto even shares what the pros wish they would have known upon entering the workforce.
Vanessa: What is your professional history (include your timeline and roles)?
Mario: “I have been in the construction industry all my life. I began working with my father from a young age, which was also in the construction business. I suppose you could say I am a second-generation contractor. From the period of 1988 to today, 98% of the time has been running my own companies. I have had many different businesses in the past due to moving around frequently. Moving around also led me to try out different businesses. Eventually, I came back to my roots, and started Cris Solutions. With unpredictable economies, it’s not a business that is 100% reliable, and it is difficult to predict. Like anything else, it has its ups ands downs.”
Vanessa: What writing advice do you have for professional communicators?
Mario: “This is a good question. I would have to say keep detailed notes of all conversations. After any kind of meeting, recap everything that has been agreed on in an email and attach all involved. Keeping things transparent helps you have an understanding of the parameters of whatever you may agree or disagree on. As soon as someone says, “What, you don’t trust me?” you respond with “No, it’s not that. I don’t trust myself with remembering everything, and I don’t want to give the impression of misleading you if something was missed”. People tend to forget smaller details that can be costly. If you are in my type of business, relationships are usually long-term, and discussions and agreements can send mixed signals.”
Vanessa: What is your one pet peeve when it comes to professional writing?
Mario: “Well, I don’t consider myself a “professional writer”. On the contrary, I can’t even type correctly. It’s more of a hunt and peck with two primary pointer fingers. I do prefer writing to be simple and directly to the point. I don’t like to have to read between the lines. Word things clearly, don’t make anyone assume anything.”
Vanessa: What kind of business reports do you read and/or compose regularly?
Mario: “Quality control (we call them punch lists), and job cost reports. Profit and loss statements. Reports that can be understood by anyone involved and are used in almost every business.”
Vanessa: What are your writing suggestions to make those types of reports successful?
Mario: “Training employees to read them and asking their opinion of the reports. These two simple steps can be helpful in making them better at what they do, and in turn, improve my writing skills as well. This could be for remembering steps, checking them off, and turning them in. They can serve as a guide. Also, I suggest changing font colors to draw attention of importance, go bold, or both, CHANGING COLORS AND FONTS Draws ATTENTION!”
Vanessa: What speaking advice do you have for professional communicators?
Mario: “Always try to keep in mind of being positive, you make a mistake, own it. The worst thing you can do is try to squirm out of something you know is wrong. This will always keep the respect you deserve as a leader. We all make mistakes, no reason to be scared or lie about being wrong. This will also show those that count on you for information that they can believe you, and they will. They will become very loyal to you, don’t get me wrong, LET NO ONE TELL YOU HOW TO RUN YOUR BUSINESS, “YOU NEVER SEE A TAIL WAG THE DOG”. What I’m getting at is that you have to be strong and stand behind your decisions and convince everyone that this is what’s best for all of us as a whole.”
Vanessa: Name one thing you wish you had known about business communication prior to your professional career?
Mario: “I wish, I wish! Let’s see, people lie about things that don’t seem important enough to lie about. I wish I had known at the beginning to ALWAYS PUT IT IN WRITING!!! Some people will judge you on an opinion, and that has nothing to do with your ability to do a job.Some opinions should be kept to yourself. Be honest and lie about nothing.”
Some people will judge you on an opinion, and that has nothing to do with your ability to do a job.
Vanessa: After assessing the Burning Glass list of Baseline Skills (2016), which skills not in the top 5 would you move into the top 5…and why?
Mario: “I would have to choose planning because I need workers to be thinking ahead at all times for the next project that is to be done. I would also choose project management. My job is to manage a crew, sometimes, multiple crews. For me to do my job, I need to be able to give out tasks and know they will be completed, especially when we have multiple on-going projects.”
Vanessa: What team skills do you feel young professionals need the most?
Mario: “They need to keep positive, know what they’re talking about, and do their homework. Keep a good attitude, learn how to listen to someone, and do not be bias.This will help them see different perspectives to possibly help form a better opinion.”
Keep a good attitude, learn how to listen to someone, and do not be biased.
Mr. Aniceto left us with a few great takeaways. Foremost, when it comes to pet peeves, he was spot-on. In most jobs, you will have a manager to answer to, and these individuals are incredibly busy. To communicate with your manager, keep your message short and direct. With the amount of work managers have, they do not have time to decipher a long email or try to make assumptions. The most efficient way to do your job and communicate with your higher-ups is to be polite and direct.
Two points that also stood out are how others will judge your opinions and that you should always own your mistakes. No matter how hard you work, others will always judge your actions and opinions. Mr. Aniceto stated that regardless of their judgement, they do not determine whether you are capable of doing your job. An opinion is one’s point of view, and that does not indicate your work competencies. Do not let others’ judgement affect you; you are an individual, and you deserve to have your opinions. The next important piece of advice that Mr. Aniceto gave is that you should always own your mistakes. This is regardless of the position you work in. As the owner of a company, you must own your mistakes to get the respect you deserve from your employees. Employees, you should reciprocate this by always being honest with your manager(s) whether the news is good or bad. Your boss will respect your honesty.
Mr. Mario Aniceto, the owner of Cris Solutions, has a long history in the construction field. Growing up, his father owned a construction company, so Mr. Aniceto began working at a young age. He has spent over 30 years in construction; designing, building, and managing projects. In addition to designing and building, Mr. Aniceto is a true entrepreneur. While moving around throughout his life, he opened multiple businesses. There is no doubt that Mr. Aniceto is an expert in the construction field. With his experience in construction and entrepreneurship, he was able to start Cris Solutions, and now has a successful business in Simpsonville, South Carolina.
Vanessa Seaman is currently a junior at the University of Southern Indiana. She is a Business Administration major with a concentration in International Business, and someday hopes to find a career that allows her to travel.