Yesterday a friend and client who’s a business executive asked me if I thought someone’s telephone ringtone said something about them.
She’s running into a situation in which some of her managers, people who by most appearances look and sound professional, have ringtones with Mickey Mouse, explosions, silly or provocative sounds, and tones that don’t sound…mmm…professional.
I asked if she thought it was really a problem or simply an annoyance. The way to determine whether an issue in the workplace is really a problem is to ask three questions:
- Does it negatively affect the person’s work?
- Does it negatively affect the work of others?
- Does it negatively affect the image or reputation of the organization.?
If you can answer one or more of the questions with, “Yes,” the issue is a problem and needs to be addressed.
The more I thought about it the more I was convinced the ringtone issue fit the second and third questions.
In today’s digital world your ringtone says something about you. Think about it, that’s why you chose the tone in the first place…it says something. In private and in public.
Whatever your ringtone might be, what does it say about you?
In private is one thing; in public is very much another.