Are you really checking your texts in a meeting? So, I’ve just become aware of a problem that I didn’t even realize was happening. Did you know that people will actually interrupt a work meeting to check a text, email, or social media status on their phone, or even answer a call? Does this actually happen?
I’ve written before about the technological zombie apocalypse, but I’m a little flabbergasted. I mean, this is a meeting, be it with a client or with your boss. So it seems like a bad idea to be interrupting someone of that level of importance for a text message about what the plan after work is. Maybe it’s just me, but this behavior is unprofessional at a common sense level, and it really surprises me to find out it’s happening.
I think, however, the more important question to ask is “Why are so many young professionals engaging in this very unprofessional behavior?” There’s a gut response to this behavior as well that surprises me: board rooms tend to ban personal devices. This combination is the clashing of polar ideas, and it’s causing us to miss an opportunity. We waste the quality tools at our disposal on the wrong tasks.
Your cell phone sends texts and emails, and keeps you updated with social media, and those are all convenient things for it to do. However, a quick look into your app store under business or productivity reveals a host of apps that give your phone greater use in that meeting than a distraction from it.
Grab a voice recorder app and, the next time you’re in a meeting, put your phone on airplane mode and turn it into a micro recorder (and remix your bosses voice while you’re out with your friends later for an added bonus). Take some notes with one of the many cloud-based note-taking apps. If you’re in charge, use it to set up a video-meeting instead of forcing your salesmen to be in the office where they are less effective. Use it as a remote to control your presentation.
Kevin Kruse over at Forbes has some interesting statistics about the gut response to cell phones in the meeting room. It turns out that using them the wrong way may hurt your career. It also happens to be the read that sparked this article. I think we can turn these tiny computers into the right tools for your meeting.