Treating people with respect wins trust and develops lasting relationships. Here’s what to do.

You have to 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. The fastest way to destroy people’s trust in you is to waste their time.

Keep the lines of communication open. 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. BONUS: At networking events, have the intention of how you can possibly help those you come in contact with. Instead of thinking “what they can do for me”.

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 searching the web). Phone others only when you can devote full attention to what the other person is saying. To ignore the other person is rude and unprofessional. Think how would it feel if the shoe was on the other foot.

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 your agenda to participants in advance so that they have time to prepare.

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; speak about what you want and how you want things to be. Avoid suggesting motives or assigning judgments for other people’s actions and views.

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.

This is not the end all be all and may even seem obvious, however we can all use a reminder every now and then.

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