Culture & Competency

Don't Answer Your Phone! – on The Smarter Office

Over on The Smarter Office blog, I talk about not answering your phone when you’re already in a meeting:

Perhaps I’ve had it too good, but the most annoying words to hear when getting someone on the phone are “I can’t talk. I’m in a meeting.” Usually I don’t have to wait that long to figure it out though. Something about how they answer the phone—their tone, the slight hesitancy, the distracted quality in their voice—give it away before they even speak the dreaded words. I can usually beat them to the punch line now too—”You’re in a meeting, aren’t you?” In the back of my head, I’m adding – “If you can’t talk to me, why did you answer the phone in the first place?”

Why does this happen?

The very idea of a meeting is that two or more people agree to be present for the other, for some purpose. For an update. For sharing of ideas. For getting information out into the open for the benefit of all in attendance. For all the wrath they attract, a meeting is one of the purest forms of collaborative activity available to mankind. In my opinion, the wrath is not about meetings per se, but about meetings that are poorly planned, badly run, and that require inappropriate attendance and participation. I believe in the power of well-run meetings for collaboration.

And then the phone rings.

Read more: Don’t Answer Your Phone!

Categories: Culture & Competency