No, I can’t hear you now.
When we have a planning conference call, one person is inevitably driving and speaking on a mobile phone. The reception is always awful, and the background noise makes it impossible to hear. What can I do about this?
—Louise, conference manager
Conference call and mobile phones don't mix
Conference calls are integral to everyone's schedule and with Bluetooth and hands free mobile phones, we stay connected wherever we are. But what is the protocol when these two business tools of choice are in direct conflict?
Our readers offer this advice:
- Go for “mute”
- Make the mobile user go first
- Plan “no cell phone” calls
- Observe con call/cell phone etiquette
Go for “mute”
Judy Povinelli Barnhart, from Dimensional Communications, recommends the mute button for cell phone callers.
“Unless they're the main speaker, they should MUTE their phone so that you can't hear that background drive-time noise. They can listen to the conversation but not annoy everyone else on the call. If they need to do a lot of the talking…well…I don't think there's any way of getting around it if driving is a necessity.”
Make the mobile caller go first, have a “no cell phone” call
An exhibit manage offers this advice.
“If the main speaker on the call is the cell phone user, have that person go first, then have them mute. Another option is to schedule a ‘no cell phone' call when everyone can be on a landline. If all else fails, you might have to request the annoying mobile user to leave the call and call back in from a quieter place.”
Observe con call/cell phone etiquette
Another reader suggests that it's incumbent on the cell phone caller to be sensitive to background noise.
“If you know you are going to be in the car at the time of the call, be courteous and pull over away from rushing traffic. If you're in a hotel, find an out-of-the-way spot to join the call. Though you can't always control the quality of the connection, you can take steps to minimize the background noise.”
Can you add another other tips to smooth the conference call – cell phone conflict?