Sometimes I need to take a cell phone call during a client meeting. Isn't this OK if I announce in advance that I am expecting an important call?
In some situations, some consultants (wrongly) feel that disclosure alone is enough to absolve you of unethical behavior. In the same way, saying you have an important call does not make it right. The message you are sending, although probably unintended, is very simple - "Taking this call is more important to me than the discussion we are currently having, so I need to interrupt our discussion right this minute so that I can take it." How would you feel if someone who was supposed to be advising you couldn't be bothered to stay focused on your issues?Tip:
Silence your cell phone (or set it to vibrate, if necessary) prior to going into a meeting. If you are expecting a phone call that you must absolutely take, inform the caller ahead of time that you will note when he or she calls and get back to them when you take a break. This shouldn't be more than an hour. When you are afforded a break, politely excuse yourself and handle the call as quickly as possible. © 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA