Skip to main content

What CEOs Shouldn’t Do In A Business Meeting

So much of life and business run parallel because business is life. There are so many examples in every day life that can relate to business including meeting a friend or attending a business meeting.

Here’s an example. Picture this:

It’s the weekend. You’ve got a lot to do or catch up on after a busy work week. An out of town friend contacts you and just happens to be in town. The decision is made to meet up for lunch. You’re having a great time at the restaurant enjoying the good food, the ambiance of the restaurant and good conversation with your friend. Then, for whatever reason, you get distracted. Could be someone passing by your table or any number of possibilities as to what caused the distraction including your smartphone that’s sitting next to you on the table. Depending on distraction, think about this for a moment: How does your being distracting affect your friend and the flow of the conversation? How does it make your friend feel? Will you ever really know?


Business meeting conference roomLet’s now go to a typical business day.

You’re sitting in a conference room having a business meeting with co-workers or perhaps with a customer or prospect. Your smartphone is positioned next to you. Your device indicates a call coming through. What do you do? You answer it. Right in the middle of an important business meeting – and disrupt the flow of the meeting by responding to the incoming call either by voice or by text.

This is an example of what CEOs shouldn’t do in a business meeting.

It distracts you and everyone in attendance. You may never know to what degree it affects the meeting or the business relationships formed in the room.

Note: There are times when a call is anticipated and necessary during the course of a business meeting. When possible, mention to those in attendance that you may be interrupted during the course of the meeting.

But often times that is not the case.

I’ve experienced it countless times when calling into a company. I ask to speak with someone, get them on the phone and the response is something like this: I’d like to talk with you, Howard, but I’m in a meeting… Or let’s take it one step further… I’m in a meeting with a prospect or client…

It’s no different than having a weekend lunch and not giving your full attention to your friend.

The people you are with are very important.

When you answer the phone in the presence of others, it breaks the concentration, intent and the flow of the conversation.

What message are you sending to those in attendance?

  • You’re not important
  • I’m bored
  • Don’t need or want to focus on what we’re talking about
  • Don’t really need your business… Or… You’ll still do business with me, regardless, so…
  • I can’t just not take this phone call. (It’s as important or maybe more so than you are.)


Other than the one exception mentioned previously, it’s just bad business to answer your phone during a business meeting.

Perhaps the opposite has happened where you’ve been in a meeting with someone and they refer to their phone. How did it make you feel? Don’t just consider your immediate surface answer. Think about it a moment longer. Review the scenario in your mind and then ask how it made you feel deep down inside.


Let’s consider one other example from daily life:

It’s the weekend and you decide to go to the movies. Nowadays it seems there’s about 20 minutes of upcoming movie promotions shown prior to the main movie feature. What’s usually the final message shown on the screen prior to the start of the movie? It’s some clever announcement from the owners of the theater asking you to silence your mobile phone prior to the start of the film and to not distract others by using the phone, in any way, during the film presentation.

Consider doing the same during your business day.

When you’re participating with other business people in a meeting focus on the meeting with those people.

When you leave the meeting check your mobile phone for voice and email messages.

It will wait till the meeting is over.

If someone really wants to talk with you they will wait a bit longer till you can return the call or message.

When you’re in a business meeting it requires total concentration about the subject being discussed in order for the meeting to be a success.

No mind wandering. No looking out the window. No staring off into space.

If the meeting is boring, ask a question that may liven it up or get it back on course.

We only have so much time.

We can’t get time back.

If you allow yourself to get distracted in a meeting then ask yourself:

  • Why did you have or attend the meeting in the first place?
  • What was the purpose of the meeting?
  • Was there a better way to accomplish what needed to be accomplished?
  • Could the meeting have been shorter?

CEOs, presidents and business owners set the standard and lead by example.

Remember: Focus and total concentration are extremely helpful to your business day and your life – as well as to your success and how profitable your company is.


Want to be laser focused on how to improve and grow your business? Talk with Howard! – 888-738-1855 – Howard Lewinter guides – focuses – advises CEOs, presidents and business owners to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress.


This post also was published on LinkedIn.

Want More Success And More Profit In Your Business?
Sign Up For Free Business Tips And Strategies from Howard.

Your privacy is respected. Will never sell, rent, trade or share your email or information.