Weigh in: Text Messaging During Meetings?

Hearing from YOU the people on: People Skills

Weigh in on: Text Messaging

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Text messaging during meetings –
are you for or against and why?

Post your response in the black comment box below my signature.

Blessings,

& The Schuh Crew

Shawna Schuh, CSP

Helping Sales Professionals, Executives, and Service Teams profit through advanced people skills.

2421 Hwy 47  | Gaston, Oregon 97119 | 503-662-3044

www.ShawnaSchuh.com | www.CYUY.com

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~ by Shawna Schuh on September 11, 2009.

48 Responses to “Weigh in: Text Messaging During Meetings?”

  1. Post your responses here to the question:
    Text messaging during meetings – are you for or against and why?

  2. I am against text messaging during meetings. When you are attending a meeting, you should be giving the speaker or speakers the proper respect they deserve, as well as, the people that surround you. You may think people aren’t noticing your text message finger action (no matter how fast you are at it) but you can count on it, that at least one person is noticing. Hopefully it is not a boss who is standing at the front of the room talking doing the noticing!

    Text messaging in any type of social setting (business or otherwise) shouldn’t be done. If you have to respond to a text message and it cannot wait…excuse yourself from the room, it really is the polite thing to do!

  3. Good afternoon, #1 Speaker Extraordinaire! I agree with Darlene–no text messaging during meetings. It is at the height of pompousness to my way of thinking. “Walk a mile in my moccasins. Pay attention to me when I speak and I will graciously return the favor.”

  4. I am against texting while in a meeting. You are suppose to be giving your complete attention to the meeting how can you do so if you are texting??
    I think that it is Rude just like talking on the phone while visiting w/a friend or having a meeting.

  5. Absolutely against text messaging during meetings. I feel texting during a meeting is very rude and unprofessional; if you cannot give your full attention to the speaker you should not be at the meeting. Texting should be done only when you are by yourself and not in any type of group setting.

  6. Whenever you are in a meeting, or training session (I’m a Trainer so this is an issue I deal with regularly) I feel that it is rude and distracting to have your attention focused elsewhere. Cell phones should be turned off or on vibrate and calls or text messages should be responded to on breaks. If there is a critical situation, let your meeting host/trainer know ahead of time and then quietly leave the room if you need to text or answer a call. Otherwise, not only does it take your focus off the subject at hand, it distracts others in the room, especially people in a close proxcimity to the person texting.

  7. I am against text messaging or answering Blackberry emails during most meetings. However, there are two sides to this. Meeting organizers should consider the audience that they’re inviting to attend and structure the agenda and invitation list appropriately. Nothing is worse than attending an hour-long meeting only to find out that I was not the right person or that what I was needed for was only a five minute portion. Now that technology rules and the expectation of replying to messages is getting more and more immediate, I’m more willing to break my own rule.

    Meeting organizers, please have an agenda and well-thought out list of who really needs to attend. This is an increasingly important courtesy as service expectations are changing.

  8. VERY against…both checking emails and texting. I find it not only distracting, but destructive to communication and relationship. The challenge we feel is that the “expectation” is that we will be responsive right away to customers, team members, bosses, etc.

    • VERY huh? thanks for weighing in Bob – it’s interesting that you use “expectation” – we do indeed train people how to deal with us – when we give our full attention to someone we show them our character – you have a good one! Shawna

  9. Text messaging during any kind of meeting is rude…if you can not be there mentally, you are there!

    • VERY huh? 🙂 thanks for weighing in Bob – it’s interesting that you use “expectation” – we do indeed train people how to deal with us – when we give our full attention to someone we show them our character – you have a good one! Shawna

    • Hi Nancy,
      You are so great at feedback and I so apprecaite you! Thanks! Shawna

  10. No leader or speaker enjoys experiencing distractions during a meeting. Cell phones should be turned off during meetings.

  11. Hi Shawna,

    I am not a texter, but I do use email. If there are important events happening regarding a loan that I am working on, then I do think it is effective way of dealing with a potential issue, with limited interruption to the group.

    As long as it is for business purpose. I think it is acceptable.

    • Hi Ron, Thanks for weighing in – maybe the key is asking the meeting leader, or the group what is appropriate now – rather than having a mixed focus.
      Because once the phone is on – anything that comes in steals attention.
      Blessings, Shawna

  12. I think texting is great for fast and responsive communication.

    However, in a meeting it is a bit rude . I do think the type of meeting session and format makes a difference. Let’s say your in an informational mtg and it is information you already have or the meeting leader was foolish enough to give the handouts at the beginning (which they read through) and not the end of the mtg, then essentially the peron has all the info. So was it the harm then?

    Paid training and important business meetings with agendas, texting should not be done. I can see where people who go to lots of meetings would not even think twice and text, blurring the lines of when it may be okay vrs just not okay.

    I think either stepping to the back of the room or just outside the door for a few moments to cover an important communication should be okay. Wouldn’t it be funny if you had a mtg and 10 of 20 people excused themselves to text or answer an important email. Maybe that should be part of every mtg, a break just for that purpose.

    Finally, texting at meetings depends on the context of the meeting and it is rude if you are diverting your attention when you should be in the present!. (at the meeting your in, haha) So be considerate . . .to all

    • Hi Steve,
      Love your idea – a text break in every meeting! How often – every hour, less?
      You’ve given some thoughtful ideas – you’re great! Blessings, Shawna

  13. Thank you for asking this question, and giving people an opportunity to reply! Whether it’s a meeting between two people, or a meeting for several hundred people, the rules for cell phones should apply to text messaging — turn the darn thing off, or put it on vibrate in your pocket. Nothing is more important than in- person interaction, i.e., actively listening and participating. Not being a “techie,” I don’t know if a person can enter an outgoing message similar to e-mail, to automatically reply to incoming text messages, “I’m in a meeting now, and will get in touch with you when the meeting is over.”

    Text messaging is an extension of e-mail, just as talking on a cell phone is similar to talking on a land line at home or in the office. It should be done privately. It’s an annoyance, NOT a status symbol.

    • Hi Diane,
      Is there a way to turn a message on in text? i.e. “I”m in a meeting now etc.” it’s a great idea! Like your attitude – “Turn the darn thing off”… 🙂 and it is vital to give someone your full attention – especially if you want business and to build relationships!

  14. I am totally against text messaging during meetings. I have attended meetings where such things do happen, I am sure we all have, and it is very rude! I can’t imagine that any person is that important that they cannot leave their phone completely off during any type of meeting, session etc… Texting is disturbing to those around the room in the meeting. I also think that it is rude and very unprofessional to the speaker or presenter of the meeting. Shame on any of us if we cannot give our 100 % of listening when we are attending a meeting or a session! Maybe if they are texting during meeting the speaker should ask them to leave the meeting and tend to their business and then maybe invite them back to the session when they are finished. This is just as bad as your cell phone going off during a meeting.
    Be professional- leave your texting and phone calls to your own time.

  15. Well the above individuals have definitely covered the topic by saying it is rude, distracting and disrespectful during a meeting. The only left out item that I have to add is to look at if it is just during a meeting that it is rude and socialably unacceptable. I find my time is just as important if I am speaking to someone and they are constantly checking emails, answering their phone or texting. If I took the time to communicate with you then I found the information important enough that I would hope that you were listening. I cannot tell you how many times this happens in business or in my personal life.

    The best advise I ever received was focus on the task at hand and what you are doing at that moment. If you are visiting with Grandma then visit with grandma, if you are in a meeting then stay in the meeting and not emailing, texting and answering your cell phone.

    • I bet your Grandma appreciates you Serrena!
      Giving people your attention is a high compliment -Thank you for weighing in and being so supportive – you’re great! Shawna

  16. RUDE RUDE RUDE! Should I say is again?

    If you can imagine this. I am in a meeting with my TOP client with an associate and my BOSS. My BOSS answered her cell phone 6 times during the meeting because she was having problems closing her home. (This the same boss that will paly BRICKBREAKER if a meeting is too boring for her…)

    Fortunately my client is very gracious – but I was APPALLED and would have told her to schedule. Talk about the most humiliating scenario.

    My clients first and foremost – everything is turned off except for my utmost attention!!!

    • Hi Claire,
      We learn most from other people! – on what to do and what not to do – thank you for this story – a good reminder that the client is king – that’s why you’re good at what you do darlin! Blessings, Shawna

  17. I think text messaging during a meeting is rude. You are there to listen, not be distracted by outside influences.

  18. 99% against texting during a meeting.
    1% for texting only if it has something to do with the meeting. Example: say an overlooked vital subject came up that you were not prepaired for at the meeting with paper in hand and a non-attending person has and could get the reports or infomation to the meeting quickly, then by all means, texting is quieter then phoning. This would be a rare occasion, but with the understanding of what you are doing from everyone involved, no harm done.

  19. I think texting is rude in sooo many ways. If you aren’t going to pay attention during the meeting, then don’t go… save your company some money. You are showing that what the speaker is saying isn’t important to you. I personally think it is also immature behavior.

    • Hi Amy Jo,
      Great idea – ask yourself “Can I be fully present at this meeting?” if the answer is no – don’t go rather than spread unfocused energy. Thank you for weighing in! Shawna

  20. FOR – Texting in meetings depends on the situation. If it’s a work emergency, like a product has not delivered to a customer and they need something right away, texting during a meeting to say something like ‘in meeting-will respond as soon as possible’ lets the customer know that you received the message and will respond. If it’s a personal emergency, like we had the other day with a parent’s child getting hurt at school and seeing the text she was able to excuse herself, tell the group why, and get her child to the hospital. And it all depends on the meeting’s agenda. If the meeting’s facilitator is opposed to texting, they should state that from the beginning to make it clear to the group. in our company, texting is accepted so everyone is open to it. i agree if it becomes distracting it’s up to the meeting leader to address it quickly – not it a mean or aggressive position yet something quick. we live in a business twitter/yammer/texting world set up by our work leaders so we follow suite and it works pretty well – we’re all on the same page.

    • Hi Bill,
      The good point here is for a team or group to all agree – what a blessing that is! Since life is so full, there is usually a creative way to address most issues. Glad it works for your organization! Blessings, Shawna

  21. Against! It’s very rude, disrespectful and distracting to the other people attending the meeting.

  22. No Way! It is very rude to everyone in the room! The only time you should even respond to an incoming text is if it is an emergency, then leave the room to answer the emergency or wait until the meeting is over if you can. Anything else is extremely rude when the meeting is in session.

  23. I am totally against it as well as cell phone conversations. You are at a meeting to receive information and messaging or cell phone conversation destroys the attention span and momentum of everyone there, especially the person doing a presentation.

  24. Text messaging, emailing, cell phones turned on, etc.while in any meeting or group is rude both to the speakers and the participants around you. It is totally distracting to all. Leave turned off to avoid the temptation to use both in business and social groups.

    • Hi Sandra,
      You make a strong point which is vital – temptation! When we have it with us and on – it sure allures!
      My mantra is – if you’re inside – it’s off or put away – it works for me.
      Blessings, Shawna

  25. I simply don’t understand how some people cannot disconnect from their Blackberry, PDA, etc., for even 30 minutes. Texting during a meeting is the same as emailing while meeting with someone. Are these the same people that text while driving?? I’m late jumping in on this and I share their responses. Rude, disrespectful, unprofessional.

    • Hi Patti,
      A good question to ask ourselves… do we want to connect with people or be connected to our technology when people are around? My hope is that people connecting with each other is the answer!
      Thanks for weighing in.
      Blessings, Shawna

  26. I’m definitely agaiinst texting during meetings. I’m almost against it all together. We/ve now found a way to communicate in an even less personal form than email. I think texting while talking to anyone let alone in a meeting is rude – right up there with interupting!

  27. I am against texting during meetings. I think individuals are truly not focused on what is being discussed. I agree that it is also rude. We have too many distractions in our society and texting is a big one. Recently, while attending my church, I saw an individual checking their text messages. We need to discipline ourselves to shut these tools off. They are way to communicate and do business, however, listening with our eyes and ears is a higher priority. I teach high school and regularly work with students on the importance of shutting their phones off; the most important person is the one in front of you.

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