When networking… turn off all electronic devices. Mobile distractions make mockery of networking meetings. Cell phones play a significant role in today’s social engagement, but we suggest that people just put the device away for awhile when you are at your networking meeting. The bottom line is that your mobile device is the enemy of productivity, a digital distraction and you should declare your networking space a gadget-free zone.
By the way, tilting your head over a screen can put up to 60 pounds pf pressure on your neck. That’s like having an 8 year old kid hang on it. Hold your screen up in front of you and send your eyes downward to look at it – after the meeting, of course. 😉
According to a Telstra survey, 51.7 per cent of respondents confessed to secretly checking their phone during a meeting, but far more disturbing was the finding that many didn’t even bother leaving the meeting room at all, said etiquette expert Anna Musson, who worked with Telstra on the study.
Hyperconnectivity can lead to a state of “continuous partial attention.” A state of continuous partial attention is a state where people are giving partial attention to what they are doing – continuously.
Let’s talk etiquette… If you are in a networking meeting and exceptional circumstances dictate you must answer your phone (if are on call) explain in advance why you may be slipping out. There’s no quicker way to undermine your own credibility and to earn a reputation as being a little unprofessional than to pay attention to the phone and not your fellow networking members during the meeting.
Is it time for networking groups to consider introducing etiquette guidelines for mobile use during meetings? Network leaders should at least make a brief announcement, e.g., “Remember to turn your cell phones and other digital distractions back on after the meeting.” You’ll have better meetings. More important – make sure the meeting is relevant to every person there, bring everyone into the conversation, and make it lively. Getting people engaged is the best way to keep them off their devices.
Knowing when to focus on the face-to-face interactions at your networking meetings and put electronic notifications on “Do Not Disturb” is also extremely important in this ever expanding digital age.
What say you?
BONUS Article: Mobile Phones in BNI Meetings
Copyright © 2015 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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