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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman

Etiquette: Coaching, Searching, Working While Minding Your P’s and Q’s

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

Aiming to earn trust from a client, employer, or co-worker should begin with respect. Etiquette is a sure way to demonstrate respect, for both others and self. Counselors who model proper etiquette are effectively saying to the client, “you can do this.” No one is too old for a reminder of the classic basic manners or an introduction to the 21st century etiquette (think social media). All mothers (and grandmothers) would be proud!

~ Melanie Reinersman, M.A.,

Photo by Andy Beales on Unsplash

FOCUS ON: Manners and Business Success

Good manners are associated with professionalism and career success. The expectation of respect and courtesy is found in most work environments. While all the rules of etiquette may no longer be clearly defined, managers should strive to set good examples. Read more about managers and manners from Robert Half International.

JOB SEARCHING: Ghosting the Employer

Not showing up for the interview or quitting without talking to a supervisor is unprofessional. It is sometimes called “ghosting.” Due to low unemployment rates, job seekers and employees are no longer worried about “burning bridges.” Remind clients to give two weeks notice when leaving a job, or cancel a scheduled interview – otherwise they risk being remembered as someone who showed poor job search etiquette. Read more about ghosting from or

FOR THE PRACTITIONER: Sharing the Client’s Rights and Responsibilities

During intake, it is wise and ethical to discuss with the client the expectations of the coaching/counseling relationship. Requiring a client to keep appointments or participate in goal setting are obvious discussion points. What about the importance of terminating a relationship before entering in arrangements with a new counselor? Or being transparent about how technology tools will or will not be used in the relationship. Read more “Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities” or the “Ethical Use of Social Networking Technologies” on the National Career Development Association (NCDA) website.

COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY: Students’ Guide to Email Etiquette

Professional correspondence may be new to many college students. Career center staff would be wise to share etiquette tips, such as using a formal salutation, proofreading the email, and avoiding fancy fonts and graphics. Students may appreciate the tips to help them be taken seriously in the professional work world. Read more from one university‘s Student Life website.

TOP TEN: Basics of Business Etiquette

It’s common sense that it is not polite to interrupt another person when they are speaking. But how many people are unaware of how rude it is to eavesdrop on co-workers’ conversations or arrive just as a meeting starts? Read all ten basic manners that your mother would want you to practice at work.


“Etiquette is all human social behavior. If you’re a hermit on a mountain, you don’t have to worry about etiquette; if somebody comes up the mountain, then you’ve got a problem. It matters because we want to live in reasonably harmonious communities.” - Judith Martin
“Good manners reflect something from inside – an innate sense of consideration for others and respect for self.” - Emily Post


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