Texting at the Board Table: What Message is Being Sent?

Dec 16, 2021


In today's fast-paced business environment, it is essential for board members to maintain effective communication during meetings. However, the rise of smartphones and the temptation to text during important discussions have raised concerns regarding the message being sent. This article explores the impact of texting at the board table and provides insights into the importance of maintaining focus and professionalism during crucial decision-making moments.

The Role of Effective Communication

Effective communication is the cornerstone of successful business meetings. It allows board members to exchange ideas, share perspectives, and make informed decisions. Texting at the board table, however, can undermine this crucial process. By engaging with their smartphones instead of actively participating in discussions, board members may communicate disinterest, disrespect, or lack of focus, ultimately compromising the effectiveness of the meeting.

The Impact on Decision-Making

When board members text during meetings, they risk missing important details or key points raised by other participants. This can lead to misunderstandings, incomplete decision-making, and ultimately, poor outcomes. Each board member's contribution is valuable and texting can hinder the collaborative effort required for successful decision-making. By disregarding the conversation and focusing on their screens, board members may also miss non-verbal cues and lose opportunities for meaningful engagement.

The Message Being Sent

Texting at the board table sends a variety of negative messages, both implicitly and explicitly. It suggests that the person texting prioritizes their personal interests over the collective goals of the board. It diminishes their commitment to active participation, making it difficult to build trust and foster a productive work environment. Additionally, it can be perceived as dismissive or disrespectful towards fellow board members and their contributions.

Alternative Solutions

To promote effective board meetings, it is important to establish clear guidelines and expectations regarding technology usage. Some potential solutions include:

  • Implementing a no-texting policy during board meetings
  • Encouraging participants to silence and stow their smartphones
  • Designating breaks for attendees to check and respond to urgent messages
  • Providing meeting materials in advance to minimize the need for on-screen distractions
  • Conducting periodic discussions on the impact of technology on effective communication


Texting at the board table can send negative messages that hinder effective communication, decision-making, and collaboration. By recognizing the importance of active participation and setting guidelines for technology usage, board members can foster an environment conducive to success. Remember, successful meetings are built on open dialogue, shared commitment, and mutual respect.

Lesla Burrola
Boardroom etiquette matters, put that phone away! 📵
Oct 13, 2023