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Research from USC’s Marshall School of Business has proven that any time you take your phone out during a meeting you are annoying your boss and colleagues. The study also showed that people above the age of 40 and women in particular are even more agitated by the use of phones during a meeting.
The nationwide survey consisted of 554 full-time working professionals with an income exceeding 30k in larger companies consisting of 50 or more employees. Researches asked a variety of questions and the results were as follows:
- 86% think it’s inappropriate to answer phone calls during meetings.
- 84% think it’s inappropriate to write texts or emails during meetings.
- 66% think it’s inappropriate to write texts or emails even during lunches offsite.
- The more money people make the less they approve of smartphone use.
- Millennials are three times more likely to think that the use of a mobile phone during a meeting is ok.
The research also listed the many reasons why so many people, especially successful people, find using a mobile phone inappropriate during a meeting. Reasons included:
- Lack of respect. You consider the information on your phone to be more important than the conversation at hand, and 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 thing at a time.
- Lack of listening. You aren’t practicing active listening, so no one around you feels heard.
- Lack of power. You are like a modern-day Pavlovian dog who responds to the whims of others through the buzz of your phone.
- Lack of self-awareness: You don’t understand how ridiculous your behaviour looks to other people.
- Lack of social awareness: You don’t understand how your behaviour affects those around you.
I can’t say I’m surprised by the USC study’s findings. In most candidate and client interviews I go to phones are rarely not within reach. It’s important to be clear with what you expect of others, particularly millennials. Perhaps try to subtly get the message across by first sharing this blog post. If the message is still unclear have a no phone policy in the boardroom or any internal meetings.