th images menu user export search eye clock list list2 arrow-left untitled twitter facebook googleplus instagram cross photos entrep-logo-svg

Why successful people never bring smartphones into meetings

Here are reasons to think twice before bringing your smartphone into the meeting room.
By Travis Bradberry |


You are annoying your boss and colleagues any time you take your phone out during meetings, says research from USC's Marshall School of Business, and if you work with women and people who are over 40 then they're even more perturbed by it than everyone else.


The researchers conducted a nationwide survey of 554 full-time working professionals  working in companies with at least 50 employees. They asked a variety of questions about smartphone use during meetings and found:


  • 86% think it's inappropriate to answer phone calls during meetings
  • 84% think it's inappropriate to write texts or emails during meetings
  • 66% think it's inappropriate to write texts or emails even during lunches offsite
  • The more money people make the less they approve of smartphone use.


Related: How successful people stay productive and in control


The study also found that Millennials are three times more likely than those over 40 to think that smartphone use during meetings is okay, which is ironic considering Millennials are highly dependent upon the opinions of their older colleagues for career advancement.


TalentSmart has tested the emotional intelligence of more than a million people worldwide and found that Millennials have the lowest self-awareness in the workplace, making them unlikely to see that their smartphone use in meetings is harming their careers.



Why do so many people-especially successful people-find smartphone use in meetings to be inappropriate? When you take out your phone it shows a:


  • Lack of respect.You consider the information on your phone to be more important than the conversation at hand, and you view people outside of the meeting to be more important than those sitting right in front of you.
  • Lack of attention.You are unable to stay focused on one thing at a time.
  • Lack of listening.You aren't practicingactivelistening, so no one around you feels heard.
  • Lack of power.You are like a modern-day Pavlovian dog who responds to the whims of others through the buzz of your phone.
  • Lack of self-awareness:You don't understand how ridiculous your behavior looks to other people.
  • Lack of social awareness:You don't understand how your behavior affects those around you.


Related: 12 ways successful people handle toxic people


Smartphone use in meetings is one of the most common coworker complaints.


It's important to be clear with what you expect of others. If sharing this article with your team doesn't end smartphone use in meetings, take a page out of the Old West and put a basket by the conference room door with an image of a smart phone and the message, "Leave your guns at the door."


version of this article first appeared on


Copyright © 2015 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been done by the editor.  

 Photo from Startup Stock Photos  

Latest Articles