This is part of my Series on Entrepreneurial Culture
I was in a serious meeting recently. Some heavy-duty decisions were being made. Faces were grave, people were addressing each other in quiet and measured tones. The tension was palpable.
Suddenly, a loud crunching noise broke through the charged atmosphere. At first I had no idea what it was and I turned slightly toward the direction of this noise and to my amazement noted that it was the sound of a person chewing on a piece of celery.
He was oblivious and continued to chew loudly. This was not a lunch meeting, I assure you. Others shifted uncomfortably in their seats and exchanged eye-rolls and yet he persisted until he finished eating the vegetable. The conversation, which had slowed while he chewed, continued from there.
People let it slide on the surface, but make no mistake- his behavior spoke volumes about his mindset, his character, his commitment and his attitude.
So whether it's checking your iPhone constantly while someone's talking, interrupting people while they're making a point, or chomping on a stick of celery- be cognizant of the impression this might leave on others.