Bad Combo: Phone Calls and Coffee Shops

It’s common place to make the local Starbucks your “office” for many businesses that are starting out or when you need a surrogate office.

Coffee shops are great for catching up on paperwork, projects and basically anything that can be done on your laptop. What are coffee shops not good for? Making phone calls. Cell phones amplify background noise and this neat feature will magnify all the wonderful noises in the coffee shop you are visiting. It also annoys your fellow coffee drinking neighbors. The antidote: a noise canceling bluetooth device ( doesn’t help with the over caffeinated neighbors, though).

Remember to save your colleagues, clients, vendors employees etc., from the noises of:

  • sipping coffee
  • the steam machine
  • keyboard clicking
  • eating
  • chewing gum

All of these are guaranteed to annoy the person on the other line and damage communication. Plus, it’s just good phone etiquette.

Communication: The Common Goal

In teams full of diversity of thought, background, perspectives and preferences we are sometimes left lost in translation.

“Why am I translating English into English?” we ask ourselves and then we go home and vent to our families.

It is important to:

  • 1. Check our feelings at the door before the next conversation with your team member. (Breathe, do yoga, scream into a vaccuum, do what needs to be done to get centered).
  • 2. Remember the FACTS of the conversation, situation and goal at hand.
  • 3. Put yourself in the shoes of your colleagues and see how their individual perspectives brought them to their conclusions.
  • 4. When communicating remember to bring other members of the conversation back to the common goal and direct all comments towards achieving that goal. Use the common denominator to achieve success.
  • 5. Learn from that experience to better your communication skills. We can’t help others translate but we can become more effective communicators for our own advantage.