doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

Etiquette and Protocol

I’ve got to give a big shoutout to Tom D’Amico for finding and sharing this resource.

How to Use Your Smartphone Like a Professional

I think copies of it, or even better, your own take on the concept should be printed and placed in all meeting room areas and classrooms that have elected to adopt a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program.

When you think back to Star Trek days which foreshadowed communication devices everywhere, you didn’t see Kirk or Picard constantly on their phone oblivious to what was going on around them.  You didn’t see Kirk and Spock texting to each other while other things were happening.  They had it right; the device was used for important communications and got them out of the current catastrophe.

A long time ago, when I became a program consultant, I purchased myself a Franklin Covey system and I lived by its rules as best I could.  My superintendent who was always trying to come to grips with all the communications that he had to deal with and he bought in as well.  Of course, he had the bigger budget and so went away for the physical training.  He came back and shared what he’d learned and we upped the ante.  One of the biggest time robbers was telephone time.  We all had voice mail but the moment that the phone rang, you’d drop everything and to answer it.  We changed all that by letting everything go to voice mail, read the messages and do a little research on the topic, and then would schedule time in our day to close the door and return all the calls.  It increased productivity immensely.

These days, we seem to have gone back to the days of constant interruptions and somehow just glorify ourselves in it.  Just about everyone has a device with them all the time and sounds and rings are constantly there.  You’ve got to blame the makers of the device too.  Your regular telephone has a mute button and with one push you stop the annoyances.  It takes more than one finger action to achieve the same thing on a current smartphone.  Conspiracy theory?

Then, there are the techno geek wannabees.  You know them; they come to talk to you with their earbuds in or a bluetooth headpiece.  They just exude the message that a random incoming phone call or message is more important than talking to you here and in the present. 

This is just wrong.  So many of the things in this graphic are just so true.

In addition to the business meeting, they are so appropriate in the classroom as well.  Most students are incredibly proficient with their technology compared to us old folks.  They don’t need two hands and a tongue bite to get the most from their machine.  It really is impressive what they’re capable of doing.  But, there’s one thing that’s missing with this warp speed adoption of technology and that’s the consideration for others.  Progressive schools and classrooms are adopting and enhancing the learning experience with what’s possible. 

Perhaps it’s time to take a step back and look at this poster in the big scheme of things.  Etiquette sends a strong message.  Are we demonstrating it?  Are we encouraging it?

In addition to the 8 rules in the original graphic, are there some that are missing for the classroom?


4 responses to “Etiquette and Protocol”

  1. […] I've got to give a big shoutout to Tom D'Amico for finding and sharing this resource. How to Use Your Smartphone Like a ProfessionalI think copies of it, or even better, your own take on the concep…  […]


  2. […] Etiquette and Protocol | doug — off the record […]


  3. I was lucky enough to do some learning with Peter Skillen. He told a story that has stayed with me, about a co-worker who modelled digital etiquette. Whenever Peter entered this person’s office, if he happened to be using the computer, he would very deliberately turn away from the screen, and focus his attention on Peter, and the conversation. Since then, I try to model the same thing. It’s challenging, but really important. Thanks for this!


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