Rudeness or Poor Time Management Skills

please-don-t-interrupt-me-while-i-m-ignoring-you-posters.jpgIt’s happened to all of us… we are in what we think is a useful conversation, when the person we are talking with, suddenly  switches over to their Blackberry, or cell phone.

In the moment, they  make a decision that the unknown call or email that has just come in is more important than the conversation they are having with us.

We think to ourselves “How rude!” as we get that partial-attention that is now commonplace when the person we are talking with is giving us “just so much” of their attention and no more.

I have been on the giving and receiving end of this poor habit.

I know that when I do it, I trick myself into thinking that I can get away with it, and I know that I don’t intend to be rude, but in that  moment I am engaging in a habit that undermines my productivity as I attempt to multitask my way to greater accomplishment.

One of my clients, a phone company, had executives who had developed a habit of answering their cell phones at any moment, even in mid-sentence.  Another company had a policy of answering their landlines each and every time they rang, and refused to put in place a voicemail system.

The result in each case was very long meetings and a generally frenetic pace, as anything took precedence over the task at hand.   Even the unknown caller.

When an unknown caller or sender of email has that much power over our activities,  it destroys our productivity and peace of mind, as we eventually never really commit to getting anything completed without interruption.

That is the same as having a mindset that the thing we are working on in the moment might be important, but we are always on the look-out for more important things to whisk us away.  Of course, after the switch has taken place,  nothing has changed, as the new task is also only as good as the next interruption.

Those who suffer from this affliction never, ever have enough time go get anything done.

It’s not that they are rude — it’s just a sign of their unconscious ineffectiveness.

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5 Replies to “Rudeness or Poor Time Management Skills”

  1. I make it a principle that I never take a phone call when I’m in a meeting with a client. I don’t always turn it off – because I have had favorable comments from clients (if it rings) when I explain to them that when I’m meeting with them, I’m with them 100% nobody else gets in the way.

  2. Perhaps the action is based on fear such as fear of losing a business or perhaps the call is very important and time sensitive (e.g. from the hospital, police departments … etc)

  3. I might be a bit different; i hardly EVER answer my phone. I figure that’s why we have voice mail, lol. I only get it if it’s a call I am urgently expecting.

    Therefore, I can’t stand it when others pick up their calls right while talking to me. It’s a pet peeve of mine.

  4. I know this post is very old, but it’s still relevant. I believe companies should have a policy in place regarding when to answer calls and when to let them go. Even small businesses need to do this.

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