By | Shital Kakkar Mehra | Executive Presence Coach for CEOs I Business Communication Expert I Best-selling Author I Co-Founder Katalyst, NGO
Do you frequently use your smart phone during a business meeting? Before your answer this question or your ringing phone, consider further questions:
• During a meeting, should you be “bold” by holding up your phone when typing or type furtively under the table?
• Is it appropriate to leave the phone buzzing near the speakerphone during a teleconference? Or, vibrating on the conference room tables?
• Can the juniors answer one “urgent client email” while the boss is harping about the poor Q3 results? Nobody will notice…
Social scientists feel that our inability to concentrate on a single task is leading to increased stress and reduced attention span. Clearly, multi-tasking is not about attending a meeting while simultaneously scheduling the next few via email. Also, if today’s business meetings appear ineffective, it maybe due to lack of attention from the participants.
While Generation Y may argue that it’s old-fashioned to resist new technology, most bosses/ clients are still Generation X. As with any new communication tool, rules apply:
• During a meeting keep your phone on the silent mode, if placing on the table and on the vibrate mode if placed in your handbag / trouser-pocket.
• During a conference call, ensure that your smartphone is placed far away from the speakerphone.
• Resist the urge to ‘peek’, especially during meetings/ meals as maintaining eye contact signals interest and linking the dots is crucial for a successful conversation. In this 24/7 digital world, while every email seems “critical”, in reality most aren’t!
• During a meeting, do use your phone to retrieve data, contract details, connect with stakeholders or to Google facts.