Here's why smartphones and meetings don't work
Don't take your phone to your next meeting. How could we suggest such a thing? Next time you’re in a meeting – count the number of people around the table that have a phone with them (as if they all might get an emergency call in that 1 hour period). Then note how many people have the phone face up during the meeting. Compared to those with the phones face down. And then note the people who come in without a phone at all.
But smartphones are time-saving devices of the modern age we hear? Not so! Look how much time we WASTE on our phones. They divide your attention away from the meeting or conversation at hand. They are addictive – yes – addictive. Else why would you pick it up from your desk and walk into another room.
As a member of Generation X, I am old enough to remember being in an office environment before mobile phones were even a thing. In fact in my early working days – some jobs did not even provide a landline phone at every desk. Imagine that. Yes it was a different world back then and now is the age of technology and automation and immediacy.
However let’s consider the advantages of having ‘smartphone free meetings’:
You can be more present and productive in the meeting
You can make real human connections with your colleagues
You might even be able to come up with more solutions to the challenges your team or organisation is having with everyone paying attention
You can focus on the matters at hand and not be distracted
We agree that there are genuine reasons why you might need your phone on and facing you in a meeting when you are waiting for an important call. But admit it, those times are exceptions to the rule. You may not be in a position of power where you can suggest ‘phone free meetings’ but you can lead from the pack.
So even when almost everyone else comes to the next meeting with a phone, be the odd one out and go against the grain. Leave your phone on your desk. Go to the meeting with your full attention. You may even start a trend and encourage those around to join you in having more centred, focussed and productive meetings. It is about adding to your professional brand, being more engaged in your work meetings.
If you must have your phone with you – don’t put it on the table at a meeting
Whether you are checking emails or not, having your mobile phone next to you at a meeting sends a number of messages that you may not wish to send. If you must take it into a meeting, put it in your pocket or your briefcase because if you engage with your phone while you are in a meeting – here’s what it looks like to others:
That the meeting you are in is not a priority to you
You are unfocussed, distracted and would prefer to be elsewhere
That you are not listening to the discussion
And probably one of the most negative – that you are disrespectful
So buck the trend, stand out from the crowd and be one of the few who is fully present at the next work meeting. Let us know how it goes in the comments below.
This is our personal blog . The views expressed on these pages are our views alone and not those of our respective employers.