Sometimes I feel that with increased access to technology and a bigger, better, faster mindset, we lose sight of common courtesy.
Case in point: I recently attended a Regional Human Resources meeting; my team members and I were seated at the front of the room, directly in sight of the speaker. I noticed a woman’s nametag seated at our table, it read “President”. So, she was the President of the Regional HR organization and was, in part, responsible for bringing the speaker in. He was interesting, engaging and really funny (something we definitely do not get enough of at HR presentations)!
Imagine my surprise, when I noticed that she spent the entire presentation on her phone, texting or e-mailing, in plain sight of our entire table and no doubt, the speaker.
That’s when it inspired me to come up with some reminders of simple business etiquette.
- If you have to take an emergency call, immediately leave the room before speaking.
- Phones should be kept on vibrate, in a purse, pocket or face down on the table.
- Do not text or e-mail.
- Make sure you are not the person in the room that comments constantly (to hear their own voice).
- Ensure your comments are relevant to the topic at hand and concise.
- Drinking beverages is fine during presentations (discreetly).
- Eating, unless it is a luncheon presentation, is not okay.
- Cough drops or mints are fine; gum is not!
- If you are making a comment to a tablemate or co-worker, write it down and slide the paper (again discreetly) over to them.
- Never carry on a conversation when another person in presenting or commenting (that will bring extremely unwanted attention your way).