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Loose Lips DO Sink Ships . . .

When to keep your


mouth shut, and how.


You’re a self-confident entrepreneur, maybe even cocky. The likelihood is that you have a high sense of self-esteem and a big fat ego that sometimes gets in the way of your success —  an ego that you find yourself tripping over every once in awhile.

Your $50-necktie-and-$100-white-shirt corporate brother-in-law thinks you’re a smart-ass know-it-all. The guy you’ve been busting a gut trying to get business from can’t get past the fact that you’ve been everywhere, done everything, and have the same amount (or more) experience that he has. People who work for you start to yawn when you begin ticking off your accomplishments.


“A time for everything under heaven”

is true for sure.

But believing it and acting it

may be two separate issues.


How hard is it to keep your mouth shut when a customer, prospect, employee, or supplier starts offering an opinion on something you see differently, based on your firsthand knowledge?

Do you shut down your listening skills because you’re in a hurry to impress the other person that you already know the details, the scoop, the inside story, the whatever?

If any of this sounds even vaguely familiar, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Consider that no one likes to be upstaged. No one likes not being heard or paid attention to.

Try asking questions instead of offering opinions. Remember that true entrepreneurs who start and run successful ventures seek always to find others smarter than they are to run and manage their operations 


Surely you’ve heard some grandparent

warn a child to “hold your tongue!”


It’s actually very good and often productive advice. Try putting the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth (it’s very hard to speak coherently that way) when someone else starts in on a subject about which you consider yourself well-informed.

It will force you to pay attention and wait. It will force you to take the time to present your ideas in a less offensive, more productive manner.       

If someone else is trying to impress you, it almost always means that that person is already impressed with you.

If the exchangeis a potentially good one for either and/or both of you, tolerance may get you more respect than rebuttals or one-upmanship. Respect generates trust and cooperation and sales. Information presented in a way that others might interpret as bragging does not.


Leadership is about balance.


Balanced communications is the magic combination that opens the lock. Listening, active listening — eye contact, nodding, expressing agreement and understanding, asking for examples and diagrams, questioning instead of telling and offering opinions, paraphrasing, taking notes, showing genuine interest and concern — are leadership behaviors that create balance. 

Anytime you’re tempted to pounce on a discussion topic with with a tsunami of personal experience, supportive data, resource recommendations, evidence you consider conclusive to support your position . . . STOP! Ask yourself if you are more interested in impressing someone with how much you know or are capable of, than you are with growing or boosting your business.


When you can respond instead of react,

you can never over-react!


302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.
 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

28 comments so far


  1. Iron Gateson 27 Sep 2010 at 12:58 am

    Awesome post Hal, it’s been a while since I’ve been on here. I see you haven’t lost your passion. Good to be back.

  2. Hal Alpiaron 27 Sep 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Thanks Ron. I’m glad you’re back too. Keep returning. Regards – Hal

  3. Roper Wescovinaon 09 Nov 2010 at 2:48 pm

    This blog site is definitely high quality. It has been researched and thought out incredibly well. I have bookmarked it and am going to forward it to others I know who will likely be very interested in the information presented. My father is also in business and will love the way you laid out the pages; I’ve sent him your hyperlink. I’ve also posted a permanent hyperlink on my site for others to find you. It’s difficult for anybody to disagree with this post. It’s great! Thanks.

  4. Hal Alpiaron 10 Nov 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Thank you, Roper, for such kind and encouraging words. I appreciate your comments and your visit. Please return often. Regards – Hal

  5. Zahnon 04 Dec 2010 at 1:43 am

    Hello! I´m beginning to get your blog site via rss subscriptions so I can now stay current with your site. I especially appreciated the topic you addressed on BUSINESS DIPLOMACY. Thanks, Zahn

  6. Hal Alpiaron 04 Dec 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Thanks Zahn. I appreciate your visit, your comment, and your (free) RSS feed subscription. Please visit again often. Regards – Hal

  7. […] — OPEN your ears and listen with care. Ideally, you’ll listen 80% of the time after these first ten seconds, and speak […]

  8. […] Are high-trust responsive attitudes standard fare in all your business dealings? Do you practice and foster “OPEN MINDS OPEN DOORS” attitudes? Are you listening? […]

  9. […] and then listen.  Don’t interrupt.  Take notes. Ask only for clarification or examples . . […]

  10. Paron 12 Mar 2011 at 10:57 am

    You make a number of positive points here. I did a search on the subject of business diplomacy and found that nearly all of the people I know who run their own businesses agree with the positions you take on your blog. I will continue to follow your comments regularly. Thanks – Par

  11. Hal Alpiaron 12 Mar 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Thank you, Par. I appreciate your visit and your comments. Please return again soon. Regards – Hal

  12. Hans Fordon 13 Mar 2011 at 6:54 am

    I feel like you could probably teach a class on how to make a great blog. This is fantastic! I have to say, what really got me was your design. You certainly know how to make your blog more than just a rant about an issue. Youve made it possible for people to connect. Good for you, because not that many people know what theyre doing. – Hans

  13. Hal Alpiaron 15 Mar 2011 at 10:13 am

    Thank you, Hans, for your visit and kind words. I’m glad to hear you like the site. Please return often. There’s always something here to think about. Regards – Hal

  14. Bigneyon 09 May 2011 at 7:58 pm

    You gave tremendous positive points there (on “Business Diplomacy”). I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog comments. Thank you. – Bigney

  15. Hal Alpiaron 10 May 2011 at 10:19 am

    Thank you, Bigney. I appreciate your comments and your visit. Please return again soon. FYI, if you’re not aware of it, a great bunch of “Clock” information in the new Pulitzer rize winning book, TINKERS. I haven’t much use for the book, but clockwork detail is enlightening. Have a great day! Hal

  16. Carolineon 13 Jun 2011 at 9:07 am

    I have really enjoyed reading your well-written article. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work!

  17. Hal Alpiaron 13 Jun 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Thank you Caroline. I appreciate the compliments and most of all- your visit and that you took the time and trouble to comment. Please do return again soon. Regards – Hal (P.S. Maybe next visit, you could leave a legitimate website address?)

  18. garage door repair houstonon 15 Jun 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Magnificent goods from you, man! I’ve understood your previous posts too! You’re just extremely wonderful. I actually like what you have presented here. I really like what you are stating, and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable, and still take care to keep it sensible. I can’t wait to read more from you. This is actually a great web site!

  19. Hal Alpiaron 16 Jun 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Thanks Wagg! I appreciate your enthusiastic response and strong endorsement. You can be sure I’ll send you anyone I know in Houston with garage door needs. I checked your site, btw, to verify your legitimacy; you’re the real deal, and it’s a nice site. Keep it up. Return again soon. Regards – Hal

  20. Jagoon 22 Jun 2011 at 11:22 am

    Thanks for the article. I thought it was good.

  21. Hal Alpiaron 22 Jun 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Jago – Thanks for the visit and comment, but after visiting your site, don’t think that I think that you’re not a spammer! If I’m wrong, my apologies; please return here and please forgive me. If I’m right, take a hike. Thank you again. Regards – Hal

  22. Angie Housler, Chichester, Englandon 04 Aug 2011 at 7:14 am

    You’ve created an exceptional weblog! thoroughly enjoying browsing the different articles and I also think the way you lay out your content is good! I am looking forward to your coming posts. Regards, Angie Housler in Chichester

  23. Hal Alpiaron 04 Aug 2011 at 11:56 am

    Thank you Angie, for both your visit and your kind words. Please DO return, and especially for Sunday, August 7th post – my 1,000th with a special message. Have a great weeki ahead. Regards – Hal

  24. lee min hoon 21 Aug 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Hal – It’s like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book on it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is a magnificent blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back. Lee

  25. Hal Alpiaron 21 Aug 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Thanks for the kind words, Lee. I am working on a site upgrade right now which will incorporate more pictures; thank you for the suggestion. Your visit is appreciated; please DO return. Regards – Hal

  26. useron 26 Aug 2011 at 7:56 am

    If I reword a news article, is that a copyright problem?

  27. Hal Alpiaron 26 Aug 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Thanks for your blog comment. In general terms, anything that’s printed or broadcast as news can be reproduced or reworded, though professional courtesy suggests that original sources be noted or credited, especially if the quote or rewording is to be used for marketing, sales, advertising, promotion or PR purposes.

    I believe the interpretation has a great deal to do with the extent of rewording – is it recognizable as the original to the original source with only slight modifications? Or is it completely rewritten, or written in such a generic fashion that it could be viewed as coming from a combination of sources?

    I am not a copyright lawyer, and I would recommend you check with one if the exposure of what you rewrite will be significant. I hope this helps.

    Please feel free to call me if you need clarification or further information, and thanks for visiting my blog.

    Regards – Hal

  28. Nelda Amesburyon 12 Sep 2011 at 7:55 am

    I’ve recently started a web site, the information you provide on this website has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work.

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