Etiquette For a New Age: Be Where You Are

Smart phones have enhanced our lives in many ways but with these new tools we are left to our own common sense to use them appropriately.  The granddaughters of Emily Post have written a new and updated version of Emily’s timeless book: Emily Post’s Etiquette, Manners for a New World.  In it, they address etiquette issues that were not even an issue ten or fifteen years ago.  My biggest pet peeve is bad cell phone etiquette and these are tips from my own personal point of view.

Tip #1 Turn off your cell phone during meetings

I find it very rude to be in a business meeting and have my colleagues constantly checking their iPhones or Droids.  Even beyond the  “rudeness factor” is the inability to truly focus on the meeting.  Can you truly, fully engage in the meeting at hand if you are distracted handling another issue on your phone?  This author does not think so.  Since most of these “important” text messages or emails are most likely not from the Secretary of State asking for your critical input on national security issues, they can most likely wait to be addressed in 30-45 minutes.  The person who is leading the meeting spent time preparing and deserves your full attention and participation.

If you MUST take an emergency call, excuse yourself and take the call out in the hallway.  Any emails and text messages can wait.  If you are leading the meeting and it will last longer than an hour, plan a ten minute email/phone break.  My advice is be where you are.

Check out this video with Anna Post, Emily’s granddaughter, and co-author of the book.

In our next blog we will address the Holiday Party and how to avoid bad business etiquette in a business/social setting.

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