Recently, a friend of mine and I were in a meeting and she asked me to blog about cell phone etiquette. Â I was surprised because I thought, “what do I know about cell phone etiquette?” and then I started looking around. People are really rude when it comes to cell phones! Â So here’s what I’ve noticed:
First, when going into a meeting, turn off your cell phone. Â That’s an easy thing and no one should have to be reminded. Â Take out your pen, and put your cell phone on vibrate.
Next, if you are in a public place, put your cell phone on vibrate. Â The meeting we were having was in a small coffee shop so when the person at the next table received a phone call. Â It rang so loud we all jumped.
When you answer the phone, think about the people around you. Â I can’t tell you how many conversations I can recount to you from the last week of paying attention that were people just talking loudly on their cell phones. Â I’m tempted to start commenting – wouldn’t the person on the phone be surprised?!
Keep conversations short when you are in public. Â In you are in line somewhere or at a restaurant, keep it short. It is frustrating when you are holding up the world so you can finish your conversation. Â And exactly how is a company suppose to provide you customer service if you are on the phone the whole time?
Be conscious of when you check your phone during a conversation with someone else. Â If you know there’s an important call coming in that you have to take, warn the person up front. Â If the phone rings and it might be a school or other issue, let the person know you have to check for that reason. Â Otherwise, focus on the person in front of you and let the phone go for awhile.
And just to invoke a little common sense, if it would be reasonable for another person to say, “shhhh” to you in that location, don’t take a phone call. The library, a church, a lobby of an office, a movie theater, a quiet restaurant, etc. are all places we would shush you so do it yourself!
The bottom line here is as the face of your company, your behavior speaks volumes about who you are and what your company is about. Â If you are rude with your phone, regardless of your intentions, your company will be judged that way. Â If you take my call and are in public, I will wonder who can hear what we’re saying and how conscience you are of confidentiality. Â If you infringe on my lunch or meeting with your phone, I will assume you are insensitive and don’t care about other people. Â Not the right messages, right?