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3 Ways Your Mobile Device is Hurting Your Executive Career

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Mobile technology has revolutionized the way we do business. No longer must we be seated at our desks or around conference tables to communicate, stay connected, and contribute to important discussions. This offers much greater flexibility to our work environments and schedules.

Mobile technology does, however, come with a cost. Here are 3 important ways your mobile device is hurting your career:

1.  Lack of attention in meetings

Before the days of mobile devices, executives who attended meetings had little to distract themselves. They may scribble notes to themselves or get caught up in their own thoughts, but they were otherwise attentive and engaged in the discussion. These days, many executives use meetings as an opportunity to catch up on unread emails, text others, or even surf the web.

Allowing your attention to be diverted by your mobile device can limit your executive career success in important ways. First, you give the impression that you are not engaged or invested in the discussion.  If you are interested in career advancement, this is not a message that you want to send to other leaders.

Second, you miss out on opportunities to demonstrate your competence and leadership potential to a wider audience. Through active participation in the discussion, you can showcase your understanding of important issues, as well as share your insights and suggestions with the group.

Lastly, you lose opportunities to network with influential leaders and colleagues in other groups.  Interacting with new contacts in meetings can lead to powerful relationships, resulting in new projects, mentorships, or career advancement opportunities.

2.  Lack of personal connection

When you are out of the office, or feeling overwhelmed by a growing list of responsibilities, it seems much easier to communicate by email or text message than it does to pick up the phone or stop by someone’s desk. Email and text messages offer an efficient way of communicating information, but they are not ideal for relationship building, conflict resolution, and idea-sharing.

When you choose to communicate via mobile technology, you miss opportunities to develop alliances that can be very important to your executive career success. Despite the explosion in technology, relationships still develop most powerfully through natural human connections. You are far more likely to find mentors, sponsors, and mutually beneficial relationships through personal interaction.

Additionally, as well all know, mobile communication lends itself to miscommunication. It is difficult to convey tone and set context in these messages, so there is a much higher risk of conflict. Unless the goal is to communicate simple and neutral information, personal communication is much more effective.

Lastly, mobile communication is not conducive to brainstorming and idea-sharing.  The energy and focus of a real-time dialogue are much more powerful supporters of creativity. If you are interested in developing new approaches, sharing new ideas, or engaging in a healthy debate, mobile communication is not an effective tool.

3.  Lack of professional communication

With the growing use of mobile technology, fewer and fewer people demonstrate strong written communication skills. Messages sent from mobile devices often contain typos, jargon, incorrect grammar, and incomplete sentences. This reflects poorly on your executive brand.

While sending a mobile message may seem more efficient, sending poorly written messages can have harmful effects on your long-term executive career success. If you have an important message to deliver, take the time to strategically develop the message, proofread the contents, and confirm that it is sent to the appropriate recipients.

Mobile technology offers a convenient and efficient means of staying connected in a fast-paced, global word. It does not, however, replace the need for traditional human connection. If you are committed to career advancement, don’t allow mobile technology to limit your executive career success.

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