Why do so many people (especially the more successful people) find smartphone use in meetings to be inappropriate?
According to an article I read in Forbes Magazine, it's because when you access your phone in a meeting it shows:
- Lack of respect. You consider the information on your phone to be more important than the conversation in the meeting; you view people outside of the meeting to be more important than those sitting right in front of you.
- Lack of attention. You are unable to stay focused on one item at a time; the ability to multitask is a myth. (Irene’s note: I am so pleased I am at last reading more people with this view).
- Lack of listening. You aren’t demonstrating the attention and thinking that is required of truly active listening.
- Lack of power. You are like a modern day Pavlovian dog who responds to the beck and call of others through the buzz of your phone.
The Myth of Multitasking is explained quite well here (saves me writing another article).
In relation to point 4, where else do we transfer so much control of our life to someone else, than when someone rings, texts or emails and we put our life on hold to respond to it. Many people don’t realise, it is a choice you make. I see this as an extremely common cause of stress, and one frankly that can quite easily be diverted.
Having a phone in a meeting is one thing. But watch this short video clip. What if you saw this happening to your best friend? I think it is a wind up, but you never know...
Share your thoughts in the comment box, when it's appropriate to do so 😉
If this resonates with you, our Managing People ToolBox is a low investment, high value resource that may assist you whether you are trying to overcome this habit yourself, or you want help managing your team to a behavioural change.