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Hold meetings with fewer distractions

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

Q. During our staff meetings, it’s rare that employees look up at me. Instead of paying attention, they’re glancing at their phones or typing away on their laptops. I’ve set ground rules, but they ignore them. Any ideas?

A. On a tour of the West Wing of the White House, I was struck by baskets outside the Roosevelt Room for all attendees to place their phones. No one is allowed into the meeting with a phone. So I adopted that rule at work—with a twist. I set up charging stations on a table just outside the conference room.

People leave their phones and laptops on the table to charge. The first few times that someone violated the rule, I stopped the meeting and had the person place the device outside to get charged. Try it and see the difference.

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