Recently I read an article entitled “Why Successful People Never Bring Smartphones Into Meetings”. That title alone caught my attention, and I realized that I was “guilty as charged”. You can read the original article here.
In every situation there are two things going on:
What those you are meeting with think of you and
How are you making them feel
I’m not always overly concerned with what others think of me because I am confident in my abilities, skill sets and professionalism. However, I am concerned about how I am making someone feel.
I read a Facebook post by an author that revealed the root of why it is unprofessional to bring your smartphone into a meeting – it shows that you don’t value who you are with. When you stop to text, take a call, or lose eye contact, it sends a message that the other person (and their time and what they are saying) isn’t valuable enough to have your undivided attention.
Lack of respect, attention, listening, self-discipline, and awareness of how you affect others are guaranteed conversation (and conversion, in sales terms) killers. Instead, practice the following courtesies:
Courtesy of Respect: The person in front of you is more important than the information on your phone. Set your phone to “Do Not Disturb” before walking in to a meeting.
Courtesy of Attention: You are able to fully focus on those sitting with you, and are not distracted by those who are not in the room with you.
Courtesy of Active Listening: You are practicing active listening by repeating what the other person has just said, encouraging and validating them, as well as participating in the conversation overall. When you do this, everyone feels heard and understood.
Courtesy of Being a Powerful Person: You are showing others that you not a slave to your phone. You are disciplined to put it away and you do not need to respond to every notification instantaneously.
Courtesy of Social Awareness: You understand how your behavior affects others and how it makes them feel, as well as how it makes you look when you choose prioritize your phone above the people you are with.
It’s very important to set the expectations for the meeting up front. Make sure you ask that all participants silence their phones, and put them where they can’t be seen. Everyone will feel respected, and you’ll notice that your productivity will also increase. This simple standard is certainly a win-win for everyone!
Image Credit: IStock Photos