The emergence of the smartphone has necessitated the development of new etiquette standards because people don’t leave their work phones at the office anymore. More often than not, they bring their communication hub with them to every meeting, dinner, and networking event they attend. There’s nothing wrong with that; however, it becomes an issue when every event revolves around the phone.
When it comes to phone use in a professional setting, here are some basic cell phone etiquette tips to remember:
Phone Calls – Identify Yourself: When I was growing up, we always answered the house phone, “Hello, Van Buren’s.” It let the caller know whether or not they’d dialed the right number. These days, I often call entrepreneurs who answer the phone, “Hello?” It immediately makes me wonder if I’ve called a business or personal line, or if I even have the right number.
Don’t make the caller guess who they’re talking to. You don’t have to say your company name, but at the very least, let them know who they’re talking to. A simple, “Hello, this is Karin,” gives the caller someone to relate to.
Text Messages – Be Proper: If you’re texting a friend, it’s perfectly acceptable to use abbreviations, emojis, and any other vocabulary substitutes that you like. When you’re texting clients and employees, however, your text is still a professional correspondence. You wouldn’t say to a customer, “BRB,” so don’t text it. Your text messages will reflect your business, so make sure they present the right image.
Phone Etiquette – Put Down Your Phone: The year was 2001. When I had a meeting at work, I walked away from my desk – leaving my phone and computer behind – and gave my full attention to the speaker. I worked at that company for five years, and never once did the world end because a client had to wait an hour or two for me to finish my meeting. The same could be true today … if people would put down their phones.
There are very few instances when we need to be available 24/7. Few of us are so important that we need to respond to others within minutes of getting an email or text. All of us, however, show disrespect to others when we’re checking our phones during someone else’s presentation.
Put your phone down, and be present. In fact, turn it off or put it on silent (yes, we can all hear your phone vibrating on the table – it’s distracting). Not only will you be showing those around you that you care about the person/people talking to you, you’ll also get a lot more out of the event because you’ll have given it your complete attention.
Smartphones have revolutionized the way we communicate, but we need to make sure we’re using them wisely. These three simple smartphone etiquette tips will help you maintain your professional appearance while making the most of your smartphone.
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