Respectful Leadership Means Putting Down The Smartphone
OK, show of hands…how many of you have been in meetings where the boss (or multiple bosses) have been checking their smart phones while you or your colleagues were in the middle of presenting? You can all put your hands down now (uh, ma’am, you can put both hands down now).
Yes, this has happened to many of us. And how does it make us feel? Most of us would say “disrespected.” And yet, many of us also make excuses for our bosses (especially if we really like them!) such as…”s/he’s really busy,” and “I know s/he’s listening,” and “they’ve learned to multi-task really well,” and, this is the best excuse of all…”everyone does it.”
But, regardless of the excuses, when our boss is checking their cell phone while we’re presenting, it’s hard not to notice, and it’s hard not to feel disrespected. And, the reality is, being “good” at multi-tasking is a total myth, even if everyone is doing it.
One of the key practices of Respectful Leadership is being “present” and connecting with your team whenever you’re with them. This means setting the smart phone aside; even if there are urgent emails or texts coming in. Surely they can wait 30-60 minutes before you respond?
Respectful Recommendations Around Smart Phones In Meetings:
- Set them aside, deal with urgent stuff afterwards, or take a break
- If really urgent stuff comes in to your phone during the meeting, either take a break OR urge participants to, as Colin Powell used to say, “Be Brief, Be Brilliant and Be Gone!”