A Cell Phone Etiquette Refresher


Cell phones have become a necessary evil in the business world. Nearly everyone carries one so that they can get messages instantly, check their email, play Words with Friends. Whatever.

There have been some basic accepted rules of cell phone use in business. Particularly in meetings. Such as simple things like:

Turn your phone off or put it on vibrate if you’re in a meeting.
If you absolutely must take a call, go outside the room.

It seems like those two basic rules should cover it. But apparently, no.

I spend a lot of time in meetings. I mean a lot of time.

Recently I’ve noticed what appears to be a new phenomenon. People aren’t turning off the volume on their notifications. So every text message, every email cuts through the silence, or cuts a speaker’s words in mid-sentence.

I don’t get it. The first time I can assume to be an “oops.”

But repeated interruptions at full volume of whatever clever sound you’ve attached to text messages and emails?

Please. Nobody is that important. And if you really are, you probably have someone to answer your phone for you.

Turn the volume off. If you can’t figure out how to do that, you’re probably all phone and no cattle. So to speak.

Have you noticed this in your meetings?


    • Kris Amundson on July 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Oh, my goodness, you are absolutely right about all of this. And turn our phone OVER during the meeting just in case you are waiting for a call from your cardiologist or the Pope or the President. It’s really rude to look at your screen instead of your colleague. Yes, even when your colleague might be just the teensiest bit boring.

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