Treating people with respect wins trust and develops lasting relationships. Here’s what to do.
1) Be on time. In fact, arrive early for appointments and meetings. Plan time milestones in your daily schedule that tell you when to begin transferring to an appointment. That is, note when you will stop working on a task, begin collecting resource materials, and start traveling. Allow time for delays in travel, especially if driving. Consider: The fastest way to destroy people’s trust in you is to waste their time.
2) Communicate with others. Answer your phone and return phone calls. Listen carefully and completely when people talk to you. Show an interest in others before telling about yourself. When making phone calls devote all of your attention to what the other person is saying (instead of time sharing with other tasks, such as checking e-mail or playing computer games). Phone others only when you can devote full attention to what the other person is saying. Consider: ignoring people is rude and unprofessional.
3) Plan projects. For example, always prepare an agenda for meetings. Contact key participants before the meeting to hear their views, solicit suggestions for agenda items, and coach them on how to prepare for the meeting. Send agendas far enough before the meeting so that people have time to prepare. Consider: Bad meetings demonstrate an inability to provide leadership.
4) Be courteous. Find the good in everyone. Compliment others. Avoid starting or listening to gossip. Never ridicule, insult, or make fun of other people. Use positive words, always speaking about what you want and how you want things to be. Avoid suggesting motives or assigning judgments for other people’s actions and views. Consider: Discourtesy damages all relationships.
5) Help others. Be a mentor for newcomers. Share ideas. Teach people skills that will help them excel. Work with a spirit of abundance. Seek win/win results. Let others speak first, even on issues where you are an expert. Give first without attaching a receipt for return favors. Consider: Selfish people end up working harder.