Smart phones and meetings

The days of only the powerful few getting by with tapping their Blackberries during meetings are long
gone
.

When was the last time you were in a gathering where more people seemed interested in the topic or the speaker than in whatever
was on their Blackberries â?? or iPhones or Treos? Smart phones have become pervasive in professional settings along with expectations
of instantaneous responses.

Critics insist the phones detract from tasks at hand and introduce a low grade of chaos. In short, they cause distractions
that compromise quality of work and decisions.

However, the upsides are compelling. Business and conversation certainly move faster. And who really wants to be out of contact?

If youâ??re leading a meeting, what are your rules for phones? Do you have rules at all?

If youâ??re the speaker, do you feel itâ??s rude for others to check e-mail â?? or Facebook and Twitter â?? while youâ??re talking?

To what extent are these questions generational? Younger workers have grown up multitasking.

Anyone willing to predict where phone etiquette will settle out?

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