Cell Phones Off and Engaging Your Team

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cell phones off

Cell Phones Off and Engaging Your Team

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You’ve likely heard it at the start of the meeting, “All cell phones off!” Is this the best way to engage your team? Is it the only way?

It is interesting to see the differences in organizational culture. Some meetings invite you to BYOD (bring your own device) and others start with a command to shut everything off.

Attention is a Resource

Attention is often hard to capture. When we don’t get the attention we seek we tend to get louder, send more email, or hold more meetings.

In today’s social and workplace climate attention is scarce. We are always in a battle for what’s happening next on our cell phones, what short video to watch, or a clever .gif file capturing a few seconds of our time.

We have a hyper active society that has learned not to waste anything, especially time. Time wasters and energy zappers are quickly dismissed and the attention shifts to, “What’s next?”

Cell Phones Off or Trust

Should we be turning our cell phones on? What really captures attention and creates engagement? Is workplace trust a factor?

Trust becomes a bigger element in engagement. Since we consciously or subconsciously begin to feel more and more tricked into giving our attention.

We are apprehensive of the email tag line, the text message from an unknown number, and phone calls from unknown callers are seldom answered.

These are trust issues. Things that waste our time. It is the clever language, the trickery, or the click bait that makes us shy away.

For most organizations trust is a competitive advantage. Organizations with a trusting culture do much better when compared with their competition. Organizations lacking trust have much deeper problems.

Do you trust your team to give appropriate attention and use their time wisely? Is your culture engaging and focused? Tough questions.

As I write this we are about to launch into a new decade. Will it be a decade where we turn technology off, or on?


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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