30 Jan

Mobile Manners

Our mobile phones like Blackberries, I-phones and Trios have become such a big part of our lives. It makes me wonder how we did business before we were on call 24/7. I do think we need to put our cell phones into perspective and use them for business as needed. However, we also need to take into account some business etiquette when using these virtual devices. A few months ago the Atlanta Journal-Constitution claimed, Atlanta was the #2 city most addicted to email, behind Washington. The article stated that last year Atlanta was in 12th place and has now topped several other major cities like New York and San Francisco to be ranked #2.

Here are a few of my cell phone etiquette tips to be sure you are projecting a positive image while using your cell phone to conduct business:

  • Having the convenience of a cell phone doesn’t justify being rude when you are with another person. In the presence of another person either turn your phone off or mute it.
  • In the presence of another person, if you are expecting an important call that you must take, let the person know you are expecting an important call. Keep the call brief. Advising the person of the incoming call doesn’t make the interruption seem as rude.
  • Don’t leave your Bluetooth headset in your ear all day. This gives people the impression that if a call comes through the call is more important than listening and conversing with them.
  • When you are with a person, don’t continually check your phone to see your latest emails or who is calling. This is totally rude and gives the impression to the other person that what they are saying is unimportant to you.
  • You don’t have to check your email at every buzz. It will be waiting for you when you have time to review your messages in private.
  • Don’t carry multiple cell phones on your belt buckle. One is plenty!
  • If you placed a call to a client and the call is dropped, it’s proper etiquette for you to place the call again.
  • When you are at a sporting event, theatre, movies or a business networking event, it is good protocol to turn off or mute your phone.
  • Be cautious when you text someone, they may be charged additional fees for text purposes.

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Sarah Hathorn
Sarah Hathorn, CEO of Hathorn Consulting Group, is the go-to-expert in working with leaders and companies to create successful corporate DNA. As an executive coach, consultant and speaker she collaborates globally with clients and brands such as Kimberly-Clark, Sherwin-Williams, Home Depot and other leading organizations.
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