July is national cell phone courtesy month, founded in 2002. Over the past 11 years, much has been written and much has been said about cell phone courtesy. You would think by now people would understand the polite and courteous ways to use their cell phones. But we know they don’t. There are still thousands of cell phone abusers out there. Of course, the creation of the smart phone has done nothing to make the situation better; it has only made it worse.
I believe this is the perfect time to do a review of cell phone courtesy, redundant as it may seem to those of you who not only know the rules, but who also follow them.
- Turn off your cell phone and put it out of sight when you are in the company of others. Putting it on the table in front of you tells others that you are not fully present.
- If a call comes in when you have it on vibrate, resist the urge to check to see who is calling when you are with other people. It is discounting to those around you.
- If you chose to talk on your phone in public, lower your voice. The microphone on your phone is highly sensitive. There is no need for cell yell. Strangers don’t want to be privy to your conversation.
- If you want to be considered a professional, use a business-like ring tone. Cute little rings will not impress your clients or prospects.
- Texting in front of others in a meeting is just as rude as talking on your phone. It may be silent, but everyone knows what you are doing.
- Never take a call in a meeting. If you are expecting an important call, let others know. Keep the phone on vibrate so it is not an interruption. Then leave the room to take the call.
If you have any pet peeves about cell phones or smart phones, I would love to know them. Email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post your comments in the box below the blog.
When you exercise cell phone courtesy, you set the tone for others.
Cell phone courtesy should be part of your business etiquette and professional package.
Here’s to talking and texting with courtesy and good manners!
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Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions. Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.
Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.