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To Answer the Phone or Not to Answer the Phone… In a Meeting

June 26, 2010

A colleague of mine was presenting at a meeting when one of the participants’ phone rang. The woman proceeded to answer her phone and then motioned to my colleague, the speaker and chairperson, to ‘hang on a minute’ while she took her call. Needless to say my friend was aghast at this woman’s lack of consideration and awareness of phone/blackberry etiquette.

Here are some quick ideas to ensure that you are never in this situation when running a meeting:

· Ask participants to leave their phones/Blackberries at the door

· Ask if anyone is expecting an urgent call or email during the meeting. If they are, ask them to put the phone/Blackberry on vibrate and then take their call outside.

· Tell participants if their phone rings during the meeting, they have to sing, dance or tell a joke. That should be enough incentive to get them to turn it off.

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