Written by Craig Allan
Here at Shackleton, we really enjoy meeting people. Existing clients, prospective clients, partners, friends – they’re important to us and we want them to know that. So, when we meet with any of them our mobile phones are nowhere to be seen. We don’t want any distractions. Our time and attention are 100% with the person or people we are meeting and, in our view, that’s how it should be.
This is The Shackleton Way and it’s how we build and maintain great relationships.
When you go into a meeting and lay your mobile phone on the table, it’s a huge body language signal that says quite clearly, “whatever is happening on my phone, is far more important than anything you’ve got to say”. And the person(s) you’re meeting with can hear you shout that fact loud and clear.
Sure, there are occasions when you’re waiting on an important message or call, and you need to have your phone to hand, everyone understands that. At a minimum, explain to those your meeting why your mobile is out on display. Once you do receive your call/message, put the phone away again and watch the positive reaction of the others.
When someone sets precious time aside to meet with you, recognise it. Even if they’re your colleague, best friend, relative or partner. They are pleased to give you their time, so value it as much as they do and listen to what’s being said. You’ll be amazed at what you can learn and if it’s a business meeting, you might even uncover a need for your products or services. You might really be able to help someone solve a problem.
Taking the time and having the ability to listen is the single most important skill in the communication process. It allows you to accurately receive information, interpret it and to respond appropriately.
If you’re distracted by what might happen on your phone, then it’s not possible to listen effectively and you can easily misunderstand what’s being said. The person you’re meeting becomes frustrated and annoyed with you, communication breaks down and the meeting – for them at least, has been a waste of their time.
In the worst cases it can ruin relationships and opportunities, especially in business.
Simon Sinek, is a well-known global expert on leadership and communication. In one of his videos on YouTube, he talks about the dopamine effect.
Dopamine is a chemical our brain creates to help us achieve goals. It’s the high we get when we win something, finish a big project, or earn a bonus. It’s an essential chemical that ensures things get done.
Sinek believes when it’s out of balance though, it is highly addictive and even dangerous.
Some things that induce dopamine highs include, gambling, alcohol, nicotine and yes, even our mobile phones. What? Yes, mobile phones.
They say that if you crave alcohol every moment of the day, then you’re an alcoholic. But how many of us wake up in the morning, or come out of a meeting and the first thing we do is reach for our phones?
Sinek suggests we crave that “ding, or beep-beep” of a new email or text arriving and if someone calls us, bang! There’s that high again.
When we agree to meetings, whether in a professional or personal capacity, we should be listening with interest to what is being discussed. This is how we build relationships. It’s how we build empathy, trust and respect.
So, here at Shackleton, we just don’t do it. If we’re meeting with clients or prospective clients, or anyone for that matter, the mobiles remain out of the way.
Mobiles are banned from all our internal meetings, so they are never a distraction and as a result, our meetings are more enjoyable and arguably, more productive.
Shackleton has built its entire business through effective communication and productive meetings. We take pride in the fact that the relationships we’ve built and continue to enjoy with our clients and friends are first class.
We are experts in technology, but we are not ruled by it, so if you want to meet with IT professionals, who promise to give you the attention you and your business deserve, maybe it’s time you called Shackleton.