Nothing screams disengagement more than answering texts or emails or taking mobile calls during a meeting.
I’ve seen senior people sitting in a room with their immediate superior – the person they should be trying to impress – and answering texts and emails. They assume no-one notices. It is just not true. Your mental absence – and arrogance – is duly noted.
If you are leading the meeting, your minions won’t feel loved and your distraction tells them that the project they are working on doesn’t matter either.
I know it is deeply engrained into our psyche that we must pick up phone calls no matter what excitement they interrupt. So, I’ll offer another good reason to turn off the phone during meetings: it makes them shorter when everyone focuses on the subject in hand
So when you specify that there will be no phones at your next meeting, sweeten the news by adding that you are making it 10 minutes shorter. You’ll be amazed at the better mood and better decisions your mobile-free meeting will create.