Do you feel compelled to answer the phone each time it rings? Do you answer it even when you are in the middle of a task, a conversation or some down time for yourself? Although, as humans we are conditioned to answer the phone, perhaps it is time to let it ring.
Unless answering the phone is your actual job, there is no rule that says a ringing phone must be answered. In fact, with technology today, you won’t miss a thing – messages are pretty much automatic. Besides, who says you have to be available to everyone all the time no matter what?
Try this. The next time you are in the middle of something else and the phone rings, let it ring. Notice how this makes you feel. Do you feel anxious that you are “missing something”? Do you feel like you are now trapped into completing your task instead of having the opportunity to procrastinate? Most likely you will feel great for honoring yourself, your time and perhaps the other person you were talking with. You’ll feel in control.
A ringing phone is not a call to duty. A ringing phone is simply a ringing phone. Now, that’s Powerful!
I am glad that you commented on this topic, especially with regard to business meetings. There should be a “check your phone at the door” policy for all business meetings. Ringing/buzzing/text rings are all distracting to all parties – needless to say rude. If you have a clients attention for short clips of time you had better give them your undivided attention.
Phone etiquette (or lack thereof) is one of my personal pet peeves. We have become a culture so connected to our technology that we sometimes forget the basic and common courtesies that we were taught as children. The basics will always serve us – if only we would simply honor them.