386 – Unlock the Freedom of Success by Cultivating a Trusting Team

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Communication skills are not just a corporate buzzword; they’re a lifeline for anyone in the trades. Whether you’re a contractor, a tradie, or a trade business owner, mastering the art of communication can make or break your business. In this blog, we delve into the nuances of effective communication, especially how to manage expectations and navigate difficult conversations.

Why Communication Skills Matter

In the trades, poor communication can lead to misunderstandings, delays, and even legal issues. Kristy-Lee Billett, an expert in small business HR, emphasises the importance of setting clear boundaries and expectations from the get-go. A well-structured onboarding process can significantly improve retention and performance rates.

The Two Bs: Boundaries and Behaviour

According to Kristy-Lee, setting boundaries is crucial. Whether it’s about the use of company resources or the extent of an employee’s responsibilities, being clear from the start can prevent a lot of headaches later on. The saying goes, “you get what you demand, and you encourage what you tolerate.” If you’re tolerating poor behaviour, you’re essentially encouraging it.

The Power of Documentation

One of the key takeaways from the podcast is the importance of documenting conversations and agreements. Whether it’s a formal letter or a simple email, having a record can save you from potential disputes and misunderstandings in the future.

The Art of Listening

Listening is an often-overlooked aspect of communication. Kristy-Lee advises business owners to be clear and direct about the issues they want to discuss and then to “shut up basically and listen.” This allows the other party to share their perspective, enabling a more constructive conversation.

Key Takeaways

  • Setting clear boundaries from the start can prevent misunderstandings and conflicts.
  • Documenting conversations is crucial for accountability and future reference.
  • Effective listening skills enable constructive conversations and better problem-solving.


In the world of trades, mastering communication skills is not just a nice-to-have; it’s a necessity. From setting clear boundaries to documenting important conversations, effective communication can be the difference between a thriving business and one that’s constantly putting out fires. As we’ve explored in this blog, the art of communication is multi-faceted, involving not just speaking but also listening. So, as you go about your day-to-day operations, remember that good communication is the cornerstone of any successful trade business. Start implementing these tips today, and you’ll be well on your way to managing expectations and navigating difficult conversations like a pro.

Ready to dive deeper into these topics? Don’t miss out on our full podcast episode with Kristy-Lee Billet. Click the button below to start listening!

Video Discussion Points: 

[00:03:18] Niche recruitment business finds and builds teams.
[00:06:02] Performance, task standards, communication, interview difficulties, work environment.
[00:08:34] Safety, workplace health, boundaries, expectations, materials, retention.
[00:12:57] Revise communication style to effectively convey message.
[00:14:08] Plan and consider timing for difficult conversations.
[00:19:21] “Understand, clarify, involve, and find solutions.”
[00:22:02] Book review on Traction and 1-on-1 meetings.
[00:27:11] Plumbers listening. Managing difficult conversations, documented framework.
[00:30:37] Document all conversations, even in emails or texts, for potential exit strategy.


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The Site Shed | Listen Notes


The Site Shed is one of the best online communities and podcasts for tradies out there. The free content provided to members is unbelievable - offering invaluable advice to run a successful business, and the community of tradies is truly awesome. Do yourself a favour and check it out.

Peter Cox Business Man

Great work Matt with all the podcasts and the site shed facebook community group. The amount of information that you can learn for free in this space is unbelieveable. It's great to see like minded contractors and trades trying to improve their businesses and also share ideas and help others. Highly recommend. Thanks!

Ben Hern Business Owner

I have been listening to the pod casts for a few months now, I can't get enough of all the awesome content that you guys provide. Especially when you guys deliver it from a trade perspective which helps out a lot. Keep up the good work and hopefully one day I can afford one of the trade training trips.

Ché Henton Customer

I own a construction company,and i love learning how to make my bussiness more competitive,profitable and how to better serve my clients. The site shed is a wonderful place to get invaluable knowledge no matter your trade .

Michael Mullinax Construction Company Owner

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