Want to have a shallow conversation during a meeting or meal? Leave your phone on the table.

Despite the fact that it’s socially acceptable, the phone’s mere presence (even if it’s flipped over) makes in depth conversation significantly less likely, according to a study from the University of Essex (no, I don’t know where that is, google it). If you want to build a relationship with that prospect, colleague, client, or family member, then put your phone in your pocket.

But what about the rare times that you are waiting for a particularly critical message? First, is it really that important? Can you not call them back?

Let’s say this is your answer: ‘Curt, do you want the world to collapse into a black hole? That’s what would happen if I missed this call.’ That leads to my trusty second point: there’s a vibrate feature on your phone.  Turn it on. Then put the phone in your pocket.

Not only will you receive the tertiary benefits of a vibrate feature going off in your pocket, you will drastically improve the odds of the rest of your meal or meeting resulting in a meaningful interaction.

photo credit:
Christopher Bowns