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How to Use a Business Cell Phone Courteously

Cell phones have a place in today’s business world, but that place is somewhere private. If you’re using your business cell phone anywhere in public (especially for an important business call), find a secluded corner to converse away from others. Respect other people’s right not to hear your conversation.

Here are some business cell-phone points to keep in mind:

  • Cell phones have no place in restaurants; at the theater, movies, or symphony; in churches or classrooms; or in meetings. You are in these places to do something other than talk on the phone. Whenever you go into one of these settings, have the courtesy to turn your wireless phone off.

    If you inadvertently forgot to turn the phone off and it starts to ring, hasten to quiet it, even if that means turning it off without answering it, and apologize to those around you, as appropriate and convenient. Sometimes just silencing your phone is all that is necessary.

  • The more available you make yourself, the more available everyone expects you to be. People will begin to get upset if you are not instantly and constantly available! Ask yourself, do you really want to be connected 24/7/365, and is it absolutely necessary?

  • Never answer a cell phone or begin a cell-phone conversation while you’re in a bathroom. The potential for embarrassment is high.

Some cell phones create problems during conversations:

  • Clipping off the beginnings of words and sentences: When you’re talking to someone on a cell phone, the give and take of the conversation can lead you into a black hole of clipped queries. To get out of the black hole, treat cell-phone conversations with the same courtesy you use for landline phone conversations — plus some.

  • Dropping calls: You can’t do much to avoid embarrassment and frustration when you realize that for the last two minutes, you've been talking to no one. Take a deep breath, and try again. Be sure to apologize to the person when you reestablish communication.

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