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Blackberries and meetings don’t mix

July 2, 2009
Source: abcnews

Source: abcnews

I conduct a lot of meetings in my line of work, often with managers, and I have a problem when people get mersmerised with their phones and notebooks and forget that they’re in a meeting to contribute.

If they get interrupted once or twice in the heat of the meeting, I shrug it off but when it looks like a permanent thing, I’d take the direct approach. I’ll stop the meeting until the offender has finished texting and got his eyes back to the meeting. Then I’d ask publicly, “So, are we done texting?” They usually turn off their toys after that. If that doesn’t work, I make a blunt request, “Dudes, can we turn off our phones until the meeting is over?”

Unless you’ve mastered the art of out-of-body travel, your mind can’t be in two places at the same time and if I have to have your attention, I have to have your attention.

So what about you, how do you deal with people whose phones keep interrupting your meeting or conversation? And what if they are senior people like Managing Directors, etc.?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2009 11:37 am

    I keep quiet until they’re done with it.
    MD? erm…no choice, just ignore them. hahaha.

    I’m not good at dishing out silent treatments so its the in-your-face treatment for me. MDs… I still do it in their face but using more artful words. šŸ™‚

  2. July 2, 2009 3:46 pm

    you brought a girl out for a date and her cellphone kept ringing is it ?
    say so-lah šŸ˜€

    Haha, no such luck for me. But a constantly ringing phone would spoil a date if u ask me. šŸ™‚

  3. July 2, 2009 9:51 pm

    well , you can tell her ..

    “damn , your cellphone is spoiling my mood . okay now you owe me dinner”

    Hey that’s a cool way to hustle for a free dinner. Just get your friends to call up your gf’s phone during the date, haha. But then again, she could also do the same to you. šŸ˜€

  4. July 2, 2009 11:47 pm

    Just have a meeting in a room that blocks out all signals – Signal Proof Room!

    That’s a great idea. Maybe I’ll shop around for a portable GSM signal jammer if they have one. šŸ˜€

  5. July 3, 2009 9:30 am

    ooo another idea is – hey, can i borrow ur phone for a while, my phone low on batt. i need to call this client. grab it then throw n smash it on the window or table, or someone’s head. šŸ˜›

    Or accidentally drop it in a cup of coffee. I know someone who borrowed a phone, went to the toilet and the thing actually fell into the toilet bowl. I nearly died laughing. šŸ™‚

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