Your Blackberry Or Your Career?

By Matt Eventoff

The leadership chaos in New York, only rivaled this week by the leadership chaos in Iran, offers a valuable lesson in communications for everyone.

As background, late last week there was a coup in the State Senate that has brought New York government to a grinding halt. 

All because of a Blackberry…

Not just any Blackberry, but one owned and operated by Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith.   Senator Smith had a meeting and paid attention to his Blackberry rather than the gentleman sitting in front of him.

Bottom line — Senator Smith is no longer Senate Majority Leader Smith due to one reason — poor communication skills

It happens every minute of every day — a harried executive, with too much to do and not enough time to do it starts responding to emails while in a meeting (or conference, or presentation…or training). 

What that executive may or may not realize is that he (or she) has been sending a very clear message to peers, conference leaders, bosses, or employees – what you have to say is not as important as what is on my handheld. 

The lesson is basic – Everything you do sends a message. 

When you are in a meeting or talking to someone, that person wants to feel that he or she has your full attention. If you are meeting with someone, try to put the Blackberry away, or if you must, excuse yourself momentarily to check it. 

I’m sure Senator Smith wishes he did — I doubt his Blackberry is inundated with pressing emails now!

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