Leave your guns at the door: why smartphones should never participate in meetings

Following one of the shooting tragedies in the States, I remembered reading about a Starbucks coffee shop that put up a sign kindly requesting patrons to not bring their guns inside.

As someone living in a society where guns are not a “normal” part of life. I found the suggestion that taking one’s revolver, pistol or magnum to the place where you order your daily latte somewhat bizarre.

Whilst not in quite the same league as a firearm, why is it so many consider it “normal” to hijack, ambush or disrupt a meeting by using their smart phones?

Roger Lipson from the Lipson Group shared the story from one of his clients about the idea to “keep your guns at the door”, as a reminder to staff  to switch off their phones before entering a meeting.

Not only that but research from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business confirms that not only is using a smart phone during a meeting considered disruptive, it is also considered highly disrespectful to those others present, is a major cause of distraction, and means the offender won’t get the gist of the meeting, or remember the salient points. 

Here are some of the stats collated from their survey of 554 fulltime working professionals.

    •    86% think it’s inappropriate to answer phone calls during formal meetings
    •    84% think it’s inappropriate to write texts or emails during formal meetings
    •    75% think it’s inappropriate to read texts or emails during formal meetings
    •    66% think it’s inappropriate to write texts or emails during any meetings
    •    At least 22% think it’s inappropriate to use phones during any meetings

In other words, it just ain’t civil. So as a courtesy to your colleagues and your boss, “just leave your gun at the door.”


BTW you can download this image for free from Kevin Kruse here

Ref: http://bcq.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/10/06/1080569913501862.full.pdf+html

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