Cellular Phones.

For everyone, the mobile phone has become an indispensable tool. Executives, and people in the business world, are no exception. On the contrary, they use this tool to make work and contacts effective in a much more practical way than we would have imagined 20 years ago.

Because of the importance of its use at a business level, some standards set forth in the branch of NETiqueta; must be observed with more excellent care to give it proper use without harming our projection.

Here are some well-known standards and other tips that can help you improve your professional image:

  • The golden rule in the network’s world is: “The values ​​that we show in our personal and work life must transcend with more force in our online life.” Respect, empathy, and other values ​​such as honesty, transparency, consideration, etc., are the basis of the principle of treating others as we would like to be treated.
  • Let’s modulate our voice tone when talking on the cell phone. Even in the middle of a very noisy party, we do not need to shout. The new cell phones are equipped with powerful filters that neutralise background noises and help our interlocutor hear our voice with relative clarity. In all public places, the moderation of the volume when we are speaking is essential. If the person on the other side of the line cannot hear us and we are forced to raise our voice, it is appropriate to cover our mouth with the hand to minimise the resonance.
  • Let’s use good judgment with the ringtones and notification tones, considering the circumstances in which we will be involved. It is a detail that could make a difference in the image we want to show. As another act of courtesy, let’s avoid setting the ringtone for several minutes. When our favourite melody in the world begins to sound, let’s keep in mind that it is not for the entertainment of those around us. If we are executives or business people, let’s remember that our long, loud ringtones can be annoying.
  • We need to be careful with call hours and even messages. Traditional rules of Etiquette for landlines have been in place for many decades. We must be considerate of the schedules of our interlocutors. Not before 07:30 in the morning, during meal and nap hours, nor after 10:00 p.m. seeing the person “online” does not mean they are available and forced to answer us.
  • When we make a call, after a quick greeting, our first sentence should be the question: “Can you speak?” Perhaps the person who has answered us (no matter how closely or trustworthy they are) is in the middle of a meeting, driving, or in any event that is not the right one to take our call.
  • The easy availability that technology gives us to call and contact does not give us the right to interrupt or impose our need for a response. Let’s not assume that the person on the other side of the line has an obligation to attend to us immediately. If we are the ones who make the call, we have to think that it is not appropriate to insist on the calls, one after another, or to make “never-ending” calls until they finally answer us. Under a logical criterion, let’s think that everyone has their cell phones close enough to answer it immediately, so three rings should be more than enough to assume that the other person is not going to answer; So, on the third ring, let’s cut the call.
  • It is necessary to obey the rules of the ” No Cell Phone Use Zones”. When attending conventions, conferences, or certain places, you can see signs with the prohibition of cell phone use or notes asking that it please be turned off. As a well-educated person, this recommendation should be observed and followed.
  • The table in any dining room is a prohibited area for cell phones. It is considered a place of ceremony to eat, share, talk, and interact personally and directly. Within the rules of Etiquette, cell phones do not have space at the table. In the business world, the cell phone should be put on silent or turned off for the time of a business meal and, much better, kept in our briefcase or purse.
  • It is also not correct to hold it in our hand or place it exposed in the outer pocket. In addition, it is a matter of taking care of the image since carrying the cell phone in hand, or a very conspicuous place can be taken as an attitude of ostentation or insecurity.
  • When we enter a meeting or interview, the mobile should never be put on the table or the desk. It is a very negative non-verbal language signal that conveys what we are focused on and what we give more importance or attention to.
  • If a call or message is received in a face-to-face meeting, we should not answer. The smart thing is to assess its importance or urgency to apologise if it becomes necessary to respond. The live conversation takes precedence over a virtual conversation. If we have to answer, let us try to be brief out of respect for our interlocutor or interlocutors who deserve our full attention. We will ask for the necessary permission to leave the place and answer, trying to move to a place far enough away where our conversation does not disturb. Upon returning, we will give the excuses due for the intrusion. It should be known that it is not correct to start talking in the middle of a meeting, even in a low voice, or to cover our mouth to make it less annoying. It is a disrespectful attitude that interrupts and distracts those present.
  • In the same way, it is a terrible lack of respect that, in the midst of other people, we get distracted using the functions or applications of the device or, worse, checking the notifications of our networks. They are details that can wait. Surely, if something most important comes up, a call will happen.
  • We must be prudent in choosing the type of messages we send since it is assumed that, if we send something, it is because we agree with its content or in some way, it reflects our tastes, education, or position in relation to certain situations. Let’s be careful not to offend or cause discomfort.
  • An appointment should not be cancelled by message. Ideally, do it through a call. It will be a show of good manners and respect.
  • How we write our messages or the images we use must be a matter of care. Let us remember that it shows our level of training, good education, and consideration to those who read us. As a rule, within NETiquette, it should not be written in capital letters (CAPS), as it is a manifestation of raising one’s voice or shouting. On the other hand, we should not write in red or use emoticons if we are not completely sure of the meaning or use they have been created. To insist on good spelling and grammar doesn’t hurt.

Finally, without the intention of being obstinate in undermining the freedom of the mobile phone user, which may be considered by the owner “indispensable” (with few exceptions), we should consider that for many generations, it has been possible to subsist without this device and at present, due to the little knowledge of many, it has become a device of common use but of annoying abuse and that must be governed under the principles of the “REC Formula”: Respect, Education and Common Sense, like a base of all the rules of Etiquette & Protocol.



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Written by: Claudia STOHMANN R. de A. Communicator, speaker, writer, etiquette, and protocol expert. 

14 September 2021, Bolivia 

Category: Business Etiquette 

Reference: CS140921BE


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