Manners, Etiquette, and Time Management – It’s All Connected….

By Debbie Ruston, Featured Contributor

We are taught the basics of proper manners and etiquette when we are growing up.   Very often it seems to be forgotten in the business world.  The same manners and etiquette do apply.

charm-school-for-business-etiquette-6-5-201211. Saying thank you – Just as we would say thank you for a nice gesture in our personal lives, it applies to gestures of kindness in and out of the office.

2. Respecting peoples time – We all live in a busy world.  Everyone has priorities and schedules.  Be respectful of other people’s time, just as you would expect that in return.

3. Be on time for appointments – Appointment times are set for a reason.  The people involved are committing to setting the time aside for each other.  If one party doesn’t show, it has wasted the other person’s time they put aside that could have been spent doing something else.

4. If you can’t be on time, have the courtesy to call or make contact in whatever way possible.  If you are stuck in a traffic jam, everyone has had this happen and understands.  Have the courtesy to call, email or text to respect the other person’s time.

5. Be authentic – Have you ever been so involved in a project that you just lost track of time and missed an important call?  Have the courtesy to call and tell them what actually happened.  You will be amazed at the respect this gains for being honest.

6. Do what you commit to.  It helps to get organized and keep track of commitment deadlines in your daytimer.  When you have things written in with deadlines, you have a visual reminder to keep you on track so that you don’t get off track with other projects.

Above all, never think your time is more important than someone else’s.  We all have lives, commitments and schedules.  Have the courtesy to be up front if you are too busy at the moment and make suggestions on what you can commit to.

Making these simple points part of who you are, builds credibility, trust and respect….that is the type of person that people want to do business with.


Debbie Ruston
Debbie Ruston
ENTREPRENEUR, International Trainer, Visionary Leader – Debbie has been a successful entrepreneur, since 1986 and believes in taking an active stand for true human potential. As the owner of The Success Educator, Debbie has spent her career helping individuals discover their limitations and overcome them and assists people globally in starting their own businesses. She also has a personal passion for education reform and providing youth the knowledge required to succeed in today's changed world.

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  1. I fully agree with Debbie. Fully. Maybe it may seem rather odd these days but here goes: “la classe n’est pas de l’eau” – Class, style (as regard to the line of conduct, behavior, not social position) is a tangible attribute, it’s not common like water. In my view, when class/style is not just a contrived, fawning attitude, (it’s typical of people who are always toadying to people in authority) – but on the contrary it’s authentic (rare commodity these days), well.. then.. it can unlock any door… As Debbie rightly said: it “builds credibility, trust and respect. Thank you.

  2. I totally agree with you and have experienced this many times and I find people with rank the worst. I talk with many Chinese business owners and they comment that many western companies are the same with very few mannors and just think they can do a deal, push the price down and then go home.

    This the reason why 48% of foreign businesses in China fail with in the first two years.