As PGi develops products that promote global communications, nurturing “one world” philosophy as geographic boundaries blur, I find myself continually inspired by the cross-cultural networks we support. Here in the microcosm of the Austin PGi office, the cube walls are low and the camaraderie is high – truly, we connect. We share a collaborative, light-hearted atmosphere where conversations run the gamut from professional to interpersonal. We are passionate about our work, our team and our clients. However, it’s important to recognize that focused, effective communication is not just a corporate goal; it applies to all areas of our working relationships.
This got me to thinking of how I might improve my own meeting conduct during conference calls, recognizing several “best practices” I could enlist to hone my skills. Put my mobile on vibrate before the call begins. Try not to talk over others on the call. Begin calls with an agenda. End calls with clear next steps. Begin and end calls on time. The fundamentals we all know but sometimes forget in haste or distraction.
Yet later, as I sat in my cube and listened to the happy din around me, I was struck by the need for “global” appreciation of meeting etiquette on a personal level. Not just those daily yet diverse interactions with voices over the phone, but within the realm of relationships to the left and right of me. As my coworkers conducted individual meetings on their headsets – with other PGi offices and third parties around the world – I became aware of how easily our in-house conversation and gregarious spirit might inadvertently intrude on another’s meetings. Sometimes silence is the best communication practice.
It can be a difficult balance to achieve: to understand the interplay of our world and work with another’s. But this year, my meeting resolution will be to increase my sensitivity and respect, not only for my clients by also for my coworkers. This will still mean a gleeful “high five” in the hall, but in other moments, it may mean choosing instead to smile quietly nearby when team members are on a call. In fact, they will probably appreciate my knowing smile more.