Subtracting Ourselves

Subtracting Ourselves

I hate meetings as much as the next guy, but lately it’s really getting ridiculous. Sure, people show up, and maybe even on time, but hardly anyone is present. They’re way too busy texting under the table, or openly checking their emails on their mobile devices.

Whether they’re closing the deal of lifetime, checking Facebook or trolling on Match.com, I don’t care. It’s all the same. They have subtracted themselves from the meeting and their attention is elsewhere. Which means that whatever we’re meeting on (like how to improve employee engagement) is not getting their full attention. And we’re not getting the benefit of any great ideas they might have that would address the problem and get us out of the meeting…quickly!

Mental meanderings at meetings are nothing new, but somehow doodling and daydreaming seem far less intrusive. We’ve got to set up some guidelines for acceptable behavior. There’s the “No Phone Zone” in the car. Maybe we need to extend it to meetings. The danger here is not about getting into a car accident. Instead it’s about potentially alienating and offending our co-workers (you know, those same people we need to work with to get the job done).

How are you handling “subtraction by smartphone” in your workplace?

 

Jude Carter
May 17, 2010

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