The last few days saw me in a variety of meetings with senior folks–a few were clients and the remainder associates. With these meetings, I observed very senior professionals exhibiting rude behavior surrounding their cell phones. I’ll attribute it to the fine skills of my mother–I’m a stickler for manners. Here are some guidelines I follow while using a cell phone in the company of others:
- Set your phone to vibrate during a meeting or at a client site. This is a no-brainer but I still witness the phones of polished professionals erupt in the Star Wars ring tone during an important meeting. Unless your spouse is 39 weeks pregnant or Donald Trump is calling, that call is not that important. For that matter, YOU aren’t that important. (Hey, don’t get me wrong. I like you and you’re a good person…) Give 100% of your focus to whomever you’re meeting. Your constant distraction from a cell phone sends a clear message to your companion of the importance you place on this meeting–none.
- Leave your phone in your pocket or in your bag–don’t put it on the table. Putting a phone on the table tells your meeting attendees, "I don’t care about this conversation. If this sucker rings, you might as well not be in the room". The phone on the table represents a wall between you and the folks you’re meeting with. It’s a barrier to good communication.
- If you’re on the phone in the car but you won’t be speaking often, mute your phone. If you’re a passive participant in a call, place your phone on mute. This way, your errant grunts and background car noise don’t diminish the quality of the audio for the other call participants.
- No texting while in a meeting. If you have time to text during a meeting, you shouldn’t be in the meeting…or the meeting shouldn’t have occurred. With effective meetings, there shouldn’t be any spare time to check email or surf the web.
In today’s world, we have unprecedented mediums and avenues for communication. However, even with these advancements, to enable great communication, we still need to exhibit basic manners.
What rules do you exhibit when it comes to cell phones?
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