Search This Blog

Monday, September 29, 2014

No Cellphone Zone

Most people are familiar with the phrase “falling on deaf ears.” The term “deaf ears” surfaced around the 15th century. The “falling on deaf ears” became cliche during the 19th century. It is used today as it was then…that those for whom a message is intended never quite get it.

With that in mind, I recommend reading “Why Successful People Never Bring Smartphones into Meetings.” It contains some of the latest research from USC’s Marshall School of Business. Really smart people probably don’t need to read it.

The two authors of the blog on this subject have excellent business credentials. I mention this because any time we are told to curb behavior that impacts us personally, the advice is often reduced to “Well, that’s YOUR opinion.” In this case, it’s not.

Here were some of the findings reported from more than 550 working professionals. All made above 30 thousand dollars and were in companies with 50-plus employees.

• 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

Furthermore, we learned that millennials find the practice okay. Dr. Travis Bradberry, coauthor of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, is the cofounder of TalentSmart. He notes in the article referenced that “Millennials have the lowest self-awareness in the workplace.” His concern? This valuable research will be “falling on deaf ears.”

I see this smartphone problem everywhere. It happens in meetings to be sure. But it also happens at business lunches, employees taking breaks and ignoring others while engaged in smartphone stuff, and walking around buildings while texting or checking email. I see it at family gatherings as well.

Let me repeat the message. Successful people never bring smartphones into meetings. BECAUSE…as the article points out, it shows a lack of respect, attention, listening, power, self-awareness, and social awareness. All pretty powerful reasons to take this to heart.

Since leaders are generally the “success driven people,” it make sense that they should lead the way in helping others develop the discipline of the resting smartphone. Having meetings with clear instructions of limits on electronic devices is step one. Educating team members on this research is another. Then you really can determine what falls on deaf ears and plan another approach.

Apparently deaf-leaning ears have been around for a while. Here is what the writer of Psalm 58 had to say: “From birth, evil people turn away from God; they wander off and tell lies as soon as they are born. They are like poisonous snakes, like deaf cobras that stop up their ears so they cannot hear the music of the snake charmer no matter how well he plays.” (Psalm 58:3-5, NCV)

Jesus himself said on more than one occasion, “Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand!” (Matthew 13:9, NLT) In the audience of today, that kind of teaching would be the rage on Twitter. #Earswideopen

That’s The Way WE Work. Click on the link to the right to connect via Facebook.

Listen each weekday, from 4-6 pm Central Time, to Let’s Talk with Mark Elfstrand. AM1160 in Chicagoland, AM1160 app, or online/podcast at

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.