Isn’t that the way it works? You know what I mean: You’re killing it! Your energy level is high, checkmarks abound on your to do list, and high fives are happening all around…and then that afternoon sluggishness sets in, exactly at the same time you are scheduled for a conference call.

Or the opposite happens, you are wide awake but totally disengaged during a conference call. How do you get through these “voice-only meetings” without giving away your mood?

Or maybe you’re just fine, you are alert, ready for the call, and engaged in the conversation (when you can hear it), because someone forgot to mute their phone and their background noise is louder than a jet taking off. Or someone forgot they were muted and might as well not be on the call.

Why yes, I did spend 30 minutes on Pinterest while joining my last conference call.

No matter how carefully we plan, conference calls never seem to deliver the impact a face-to-face meeting can. We are too distracted, too disparate physically.

How can we change this? Today I stumbled upon an article by Alex Cavoulacos, the President & Founder of The Muse: The 27 Unwritten Rules of Conference Calls. I recommend you click on that link and read through it! It could change your life. And as Alex says:

Here’s to more productive (and less annoying) calls forevermore!

And in life, just as on conference calls, there are rules to follow. Planning, etiquette, ethics, organization, respect, environment, and follow through apply in our every day activities, just as they apply when on the phone. There’s a time to talk and there’s a time to listen.

And the last tip for today: You can’t tune out the world completely, you must live in the present to be effective, just as on a conference call you should “Use the mute button strategically. If you are muted for 90% of the call, you likely aren’t fully paying attention.”

So pay attention and carry on, but use that mute button if you need to!


Jean Krisle is a motivational keynote speaker, extraordinary fast-lane leader, and the CEO/Founder of 10,000 Beds, Inc. a 501c3 nonprofit organization. The mission of 10,000 Beds is to connect those seeking help for addiction to those who are willing to help by providing addiction treatment scholarships.

Jean connects with audiences to provide inspiration to leaders, clients, teams and organizations. She focuses on fast-lane leadership – a compilation of proven steps to taking the FastLane2Success and the reality of success often following failure. Her popular Keynote Presentation “Failing2Win: The Paradox of Success” instantly engages the audience with identifiable stories and experiences with a strong call to action as she challenges her audience participants to push themselves harder and higher.

Jean and her husband Hal have spent much of 2017 and 2018 #OnTheRoad4Recovery to elevate awareness around addiction, change perceptions of recovery, and inspire fast-lane leadership. You can reach Jean at jean@10000beds.org. You can support 10,000 Beds at 10000beds.org. #onebedonelife #failing2win #fastlaneleadership #fastlaneleaders #ethicsdoneright #fastlane2success