Charlotte Richardson-Beck No Comments

Never answer your phone in meetings: Here’s why…

Written by Hugo Heij

It's easy to overlook the importance of meeting etiquette and how seemingly harmless actions can have a bigger impact on those around you.

Have you ever phoned someone, and they answered the phone whispering if they can call you back because they are in a meeting? (Or do you recognise yourself in this? -> Read on!)

When this happens a few major errors in judgement are taking place. And I know, these are big words, so let me explain them to you.

Error #1:

By answering the phone, you lost connection with the person or people you are meeting with. You have made the conscious choice that answering the phone was more important than paying attention. This does not pay much respect to the people you are meeting with.

Error #2:

By answering the phone, you delayed the meeting, and you forced the other participants to spend more time in the meeting, because the meeting rhythm has been disturbed. Hijacking other people’s time. Ouch!

Error #3:

The fact you know someone was calling, meant you had it either ringing (oops, sorry. Forgot to put in on silent), or buzzing on the table (yes, other people do notice that and it distracts), or flashing in front of you (that is also being noticed!) or your smartwatch has notified you (congratulations with your new gadget). Whatever triggered you to answer the phone, meant that the meeting has been distracted and your call has prevailed over the bigger cause you are meeting for. What is your priority?

Error #4:

By answering the phone, you have given your caller the initial joy you answered, for it to be followed by a short question, ‘Can I call you back?’ This does not pay much respect to the person calling you either.

Error #5:

By answering the phone, you have robbed me from the opportunity to leave you a message or question, so you can think about the answer, before ringing back. This could potentially have saved us both time. Thanks!

Solution:

When you are meeting somebody, please switch off your phone, or leave it in the car or in your bag. If I call you in that moment, I am absolutely fine to leave you a message or for you to call me back at your own leisure. I won’t be upset, feel left out, or think I am being ignored.

Please pay respect to those you are meeting with. Give them your full and undivided attention. They deserve it, and it will save you time!

And if you are expecting that extremely important phone call; notify the meeting in advance. We all have those phone calls from time to time.

Vice Versa

If you call me and you get my voicemail, please don’t take it personally. It’s not that you are not important. It’s not because I don’t want to speak to you. It’s not that I am ignoring you.

It’s simply, because I choose, at that moment, to give my full attention, to the person I am meeting with. And yes, that is sometimes myself.  Just leave me a short message, and I will call you back.

 

In Episode 081 of the Fluid Business Podcast, Hugo Heij discusses meeting etiquette in more depth with Andy Sleet.

Related podcasts:
FBP 022: Meeting rhythms
FBP 065: Rules of a team meeting

Fluid Business Coaching No Comments

Banish negativity in three simple steps

“It will never work… I’ll give it three months… What’s the point? I don’t want to moan, but…”

We all come across people that make these statements. In the book Polar Bear Pirates, Adrian Webster describes negative people as ‘Neg Ferrets.’ People that always seem to find a problem or a reason why an idea won’t work. And if they can’t find it, they will keep moaning until all your energy is drained.

In life we often meet people like this; it can be in our families or amongst friends. But of course we also come across these Neg Ferrets in our workplace and teams. Negativity amongst employees in the workplace can spread and often leads to a demotivated team.

Dealing with these negative characters is not always straightforward, because although firing an employee could be a possibility, there are ways to engage and inspire Neg Ferrets too. Let’s look at the three stages to managing workplace negativity:

Stage 1: Identify

First of all you need to identify them, which is the easy bit. Neg Ferrets will always make sure they are being heard. They like to sow the seeds of doom and gloom in as many ears as possible, so they make it their art to do so. It could happen around the coffee machine, during meetings, wherever they see an opportunity to share their negativity.

Stage 2: Ring-fence

After identifying them, you need to ring-fence them. Remove the stage they use to speak from. Avoid their speeches about problems, but if you hear them, ask them questions and challenge their ‘theory.’

The moaners and complainers only have a limited vocabulary and they don’t like to be challenged. They certainly don’t like to give a reason or explanation for their behaviour.

Stage 3: Blast them with positivity

Another very good cure against these people is positivity. Being happy about what is happening, positive about change, looking forward to developments is something they hate with a passion. They will therefore avoid speaking up when you are around. Your positive outlook will blind their dark sarcasm.

It is important to see how the group is divided. Some people will wait in the middle to see how an argument or conversation develops. They do not choose sides until it is clear who is winning. Making the negative people feel uncomfortable will help the undecided choose the proactive and positive group. This strategy reduces the group of moaners and can potentially close them down.

If you want to put a positive spin on the complainers, then listen to what they have to say. Determine if they have a valid point, which you need to address. It could be that this critical observation is useful.

 

For more on workplace negativity, tune in to Episode 080 of the Fluid Business Podcast.

Fluid Business Coaching No Comments

FBP 067: How to Fall Back in Love with Your Business

 

In this episode of the Fluid Business Podcast Ray and Andy discuss falling out of love with your business and what you need to do if this happens to you. This topic was first covered on The Levels Blog. Click Here to Read The Post.

Fluid's team of professional business coaches share their expert knowledge and experience every single week, empowering you, the business owner, to develop and grow your business the right way.

Join us as we cover core subjects areas in our unique and relaxed way. Including: Rapid Growth, Family Business, Team, Efficiency and so much more.

Got any burning questions? Post them below and we'll get back to you!
Fluid Business Coaching No Comments

FBP 031: 5 Levels of Learning with Fluid Business Coach Andy Sleet

 

In episode 031 of the Fluid Business Podcast Andy Sleet delves into the 5 Levels of Learning in part 1/2. The 5 Levels of Learning are: Blissful Ignorance, Awareness, Activity, Experience and Understanding.

 

Our team of professional business coaches share their expert knowledge and experience every single week, empowering you, the business owner, to develop and grow your business the right way.

 

Join us as we cover core subjects areas in our unique and relaxed way, including: Rapid Growth, Family Business, Team, Efficiency and so much more.

 

 

 

David Sargant No Comments

FBP 028: Three Keys to Motivate Your Team

In episode 028 of the Fluid Business Podcast, find out how to motivate your team using goal setting, involvement and responsibility.

Our team of professional business coaches share their expert knowledge and experience every single week, empowering you, the business owner, to develop and grow your business the right way.

Join us as we cover core subjects areas in our unique and relaxed way, including: Rapid Growth, Family Business, Team, Efficiency and so much more.

We streamed this episode of the Fluid Business Podcast on Periscope – to watch live next time, simply follow us on Twitter!