If you are like many people; your phone is probably glued to your hand or in your pocket every minute of the day and night. After all, you are busy, and all those texts and phone calls need to be answered quickly to keep small issues from becoming larger ones. However, what do you do with your phone during a meeting?
If you are like most people, you say excuse me to everyone in the room and answer your phone. The problem with that is that it is a major distraction and disrupts the flow of the entire meeting. Once the phone call ends, it can be very difficult to get back on track to the task at hand.
There are obviously times when it is necessary to take a phone call during a meeting, and when that is the case, it should be mentioned that a call will be coming in prior to the start of the meeting. That way, everyone knows to expect it and can prepare accordingly. If everyone needs to be there for the call, you can answer it in the room. If not, you can simply excuse yourself and step outside the door, so that the meeting can continue in some form without you.
Business is all about the people and answering your phone during a meeting is telling the people that you are with that:
- They are not important
- You are bored
- You do not want to focus on what they are discussing
- You do not need their business, so you are going to work on something else instead
- You cannot just not take this incoming phone call
- This phone call is more important than they are
You must remember that you are in control of the length of your meetings and how you use your time. You can choose to waste your time and the time of those around you by answering your phone during meetings or you can let those calls go to voice mail and use your meeting times wisely. If you choose the latter, your meeting times will be shorter, you will accomplish more, and you will earn the respect of others who will appreciate the fact that you didn’t let your phone take over your life.