Humorous approach

Nick Salamone believes
that being accessible
can work to your
advantage, but it can also
work against you.

The president of Keystone
Asset Management Inc. says
that if you are too approachable, employees may come
to you with problems that
should be handled by their
direct managers, something
you need to remind them of.

“One of my first questions
is, ‘Did you speak to your
manager first?’ and pushing it
back down to where it needs
to be,” says Salamone, who,
along with Jane Hennessy,
founded the company that
works in the real estate
default industry and employs
more than 100 people.

Smart Business spoke
with Salamone about how to
be approachable and how to
use humor to make people
feel more comfortable.

Q. How do you make yourself
more approachable?

Humor. I think that — in
this business, and any business that you’re in — is
extremely important day in
and day out. I think a little
bit of humor makes people
feel a little more comfortable.

Also, when it is time to put
your nose to the grindstone
and you get serious, I think
people can pick that up in
your tone and in your voice
and realize that maybe it’s
time to put that humor away
and get to the job at hand.

It is a daily practice for me
to make my rounds. I stop at
work stations; I see different
people. We have some running jokes, and I’m pretty
much fair game when it
comes to, if I’m going to give
it, I have to be able to take it.

Q. How do you draw the line
on what is appropriate humor?

It’s just like, we are training
a couple of puppies
right now. I think
you need to set the
boundaries with
that. The same
thing with your
employees. If your
humor is light and
you don’t push an
envelope, I think
that works really