I have a worry (or a F.E.A.R.?) that holds me back from trying out the fruit bowl. My question is:

How do you deal with phones that are on mute but still vibrating? Do you ignore them, ask meeting attendees to shut them off completely or ask them to put their phones on no sound, no vibration?

I love the concept of the fruit bowl but I have yet to try it out myself, my only concern being that the fruit bowl will become a  distraction in itself. Many of the people I meet with on a regular basis seem to be living in their phones. They go off every 10-15 minutes at least, on top of this there are voice mail notifications, missed call-notifications, SMS's coming in and for some email, twitter and facebook (!) notifications. How about instituting The Lead Box in meetings? Normally when people have the phones in their pockets or in front of them they can stop them from vibrating almost instantly but how about when it's in the middle of the table in a bowl?


thank you


dmiddleb's picture
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I really think the solution is as simple as telling people to silence their phones before placing them in the bowl. Remind them that a vibrating phone makes noise, so setting it to vibrate does not count.

The bottom line here is that you'll make it work if you want to.  Decide today to implement the fruit bowl or not.  Continued deliberation on the topic will only add stress to your life.  


Dax Middlebrooks

DiSC: 7611


Cblewis's picture

 Hey Rasmus,

I held a staff meeting with my team last Thursday and it was the first meeting we had with the "fruit bowl" concept.  I can tell you it absolutely works!  We had one fellow who elected to leave his phone in his office across the hall while we had the meeting.  About 5 minutes after the meeting began, his phone started ringing and everyone could hear it.  One of my team was presenting and I looked around at the guy who had left his phone on and in his office.  You could see the fear and embarrassment in his eyes!  It was almost funny!  My Admin Assistant stood up without missing a beat and just shut the door and we kept plowing forward.

The point here isn't to totally eliminate all distractions because I don't think you can achieve that level of perfection but to instead let your team know that continuous lack of attention that prevents you from being effective simply isn't going to be tolerated.