ON THE MIND\n\nWith the pressures of daily work, it is sometimes\n\neasy to overlook the impact that words and actions can have on\n\nsubordinates and peers. Time has become the precious commodity in\n\nbusiness and being more respectful of people\u2019s time could be the key\n\ningredient to make life at work at least a bit more manageable.\n\nThe overwhelming majority of senior executives and managers say\n\nthat respecting people\u2019s time would make business better, based on a\n\nnationwide survey conducted by NFI Research.\n\n\u201cIf everyone valued others\u2019 time as much as their own,\n\nworkplace courtesy would be greatly improved,\u201d said one survey\n\nrespondent. \u201cIt is that lack of respect (intentioned or not) that\n\nresults in the most egregious courtesy breaches.\u201d\n\nOnly five percent of executives and managers say that people\n\nconducting business today are extremely courteous, with a third saying\n\nthat people are either not very courteous or not at all courteous.\n\n\u201cPeople are too busy to be courteous,\u201d said one respondent.\n\n\u201cWith e-mail and instant messaging, everything is a shortcut. The part\n\nthat is left out is the little things that tell people we respect them.\n\nIn the very busy world we live in, a little common courtesy would go a\n\nlong way toward helping us all work together in a less stressed and\n\nmore enjoyable way.\u201d\n\nSaid another: \u201cMuch courtesy in business\n\ntoday is a false front welded onto customer service. It rings hollow\n\nand is easily detectable. Real courtesy is a personal attribute that\n\npeople either have or do not. Absence of courtesy often accompanies\n\n(perceived) lack of time and pressure to achieve.\u201d\n\nIn addition to respecting people\u2019s time, the top ways to make\n\nconducting business better, according to survey respondents, are to run\n\nmeetings efficiently, be punctual, thank people and start meetings on\n\ntime.\n\n\n\n\n\nBusinesspeople can increase courtesy by some small steps. \n\n\n\nHave a goal. Set deadlines. Stay on the subject. Be considerate of others\u2019 times and commitments.\n\n\n\nReturn phone calls.\n\n\n\nUse "mute" on conference calls when not speaking. Don\u2019t interrupt when others are speaking.\n\n\n\nAcknowledge and respond to e-mails. \u201cNo one, even business\n\npartners, feel the need to return phone calls or e-mails,\u201d said one\n\nrespondent. \u201cI have critical business that involves them and cannot get\n\nresponses.\u201d\n\nBe organized and stay on point.\n\n\n\nAvoid distractions of any type, to build trust through honoring and respecting those with whom you are interacting. \n\n\n\nManage your environment so that you are respectful of people\u2019s\n\ntime, by totally focusing on the conversation you are in at the moment.\n\n\n\n\n\nSince the workplace is where people spend a fair portion of their lives, work should be a place a person wants to be. \n\n\n\n\n\nIn the interruptive society of work today, more focus on common\n\ncourtesy by showing more respect for the time of others might just make\n\nsome of those long days seem a bit shorter.