Technology is great. Without some of the tools we have today such as smart phones, tablets and laptops, we couldn’t do half of the things we do everyday or be able to do them at our own leisure. However, even though we are all aware of the presence of technology while in meetings and while walking around the office, it can still be insulting to be interrupted or ignored due to our high tech “friends”.
Here are a few tips for retaining the business manners you had before we had all of these distractions:
- While walking through the hallways at the office, keep your phone in your pocket. You can check your email or return that text when you back to your desk. Use the travel time to smile at your co-workers and say hello. This will take you much further when you are working as a team and need to be productive together than answering that email one minute earlier would have accomplished.
- Go old school when taking notes at a meeting, especially a sales meeting. Despite the efficiency of typing your notes directly into your tablet or laptop during the meeting, it can be very distracting to others and seem as though you are not paying very close attention to someone who is speaking. This is especially true if there are people on the phone attending via conference call as all they will hear is the incessant clacking of your keyboard. Write it down, and type it later.
- Be more than silent with your phone. Vibrate mode is not enough when you are at a meeting if your phone is wriggling around the table and you keep checking it. If there is something important you are waiting for (such as a diagnosis on your child’s doctors visit), notify your meeting mates at the beginning of the meeting and only react to those messages. Otherwise, leave the phone off, or in do not disturb mode for them meeting. These people scheduled time with you, others can wait.
While some of these things seems like common sense, its not all that uncommon to experience these insults on an average work day. Try disconnecting for a few minutes and you may be surprised what you can do with some much better work relationships.
Michael Giuffrida from Southington CT has been operating businesses since 1997. He is an experienced entrepreneur in business management, profitable growth, business valuation, mergers and acquisitions, and information technology managed services.