Cell Phones and Etiquette — Not Mutually Exclusive

When it comes to etiquette, cell phones gets a bad rap. Here’s my take. Cell phones don’t cause bad behavior —  people cause bad behavior. I’ve seen it too many times. A scheduled meeting interrupted by a call; an opportunity to collaborate, cut short by an ill-timed text. If you think about it, cell phones are just one of many etiquette challenges (or shall we say opportunities) in the modern-day workplace.

Etiquette, in its purest form, is a compilation of agreed-upon norms and gestures bestowed on one person by another. Turning off a cellphone during a meeting is the modern day version of making eye contact. It’s a simple gesture that communicates a commitment to the task at hand.

So here’s your opportunity to do the right thing. Press ignore to that incoming call instead of ignoring the person right in front of you. Or better yet, leave your phone on your desk —  voicemail will be there when you get back.

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