How effective are your meetings? Research proves that being objective, focused, positive and empowering, before, during and after the meeting helps you to become more efficient, how are your meetings working out. . . .
Life has become so much more complicated than it used to be. People are more aware and yet, far more unaware, of the ways in which our limited time on earth is spent. There are still only 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour and 24 hours in a day yet it often doesn't feel that way! While life expectancy has risen, with more octogenarians now that at any time in history, are we really achieving more or just wasting a lot of that extra time? Well to answer that we have to look at how we spend much of our time. Without a doubt, the evidence appears to suggest that a fair proportion if it, is with our head buried in our mobile devices. But what of meetings, are we any better there? Seemingly not. It's as if the more methods and gizmos there are to improve communication, the worse we become at it.
A recent blog highlighted how clear speech can drastically improve memory retention and effectiveness. And this is no less relevant in the context of this blog. The brain needs clarity of speech and of thinking to function well and creating structure in meetings is critical to providing clarity. One of the most important things we need to know in almost any activity we embark on, is, what is the objective and what outcome do I want/need to achieve. Flying is a great analogy because even before the plane leaves the ground, the planning has been almost completed, the route is planned, the objective is clear (where we are going) and the route established. With a clear understanding of where we are, where we are going, the journey can begin. The only thing that can change that (emergencies excepted), is the wind; wind can blow you off course. In the meeting context the chair, or person leading the meeting, is like the pilot and all the others are various forms of wind. It's not to say that their intention is to deliberately derail the meeting, although it can often feel that way, it's often because other stuff gets in the way. For example, ego, power play, emotional stuff, face or pride, sometimes disinterest or not actually needing to be there can play a part.
This research gives some insight into ways to improve the quality and efficacy of meetings but while some people may not know this stuff, many people who go to disastrous meetings do! So, there has to be something else, psychologically speaking, going on here. The one thing that is at play here is the intrapersonal/interpersonal dynamics of each person both within and across the group. Apart from the obvious and not so obvious things listed below, is the art of people management and the primary role of any manager, is the management of people; get that right and you are ahead of the curve. However, there is no one less important, in the equation of managing people, than the management of the self! We are ourselves a complex set of emotions and experience that ultimately derive the way we function at any given point in time, change our personal dynamic and you have the potential to change everything. In that sense, many of the meetings we attend are too subjective. The answer lays in managing our mind as well as our emotions. Hypnotherapy is the most effective ways in which we can discover the way our mind works and what we can do to change that. The only way you will ever fully understand how hypnotherapy can aid you in that context; is to give it a go. Hypnosis has to be experienced to be appreciated and one way it helps to do that is by unravelling the complex history of experience that shaped the way you think, the language patterns you use and the emotions that surface out of those two dynamics. Fortunately, many hypnotherapists provide a free consultation and that allows you to evaluate the experience and ask questions. The more information and experience you have, the better the decision!
Hypnotherapy stands out as one of the most effective strategic life management methods there is, especially in its ability to promote clear thinking and good states of mental wellness. The behaviours that make life challenging are often a result of too much stress, too little sleep and too little by way of clarity! So, to take back control of your mind and your life, it makes perfect sense to use a methodology that addresses the subconscious mind's role in perpetuating negative, vague and ambiguous states of mind. Hypnosis helps us to create calm relaxing states of mind that make life work better! If you would like to address any concerns you have in this direction, or, if you just want to make your life feel better, then why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation? Hypnosis gives you the ability to have a good life!
The objective here is to help people understand how and why we become illogically trapped into irrational emotional experiences that may actually be happening for reasons different to that which we would imagine! If you want to know more about how Hypnotherapy can help you; why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation?
Drawing from almost 200 scientific studies on workplace meetings, a team of psychological scientists provides recommendations for making the most out of meetings before they start, as they're happening, and after they've concluded. Their report is published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Meetings are a near-ubiquitous aspect of today's professional workplace and there is abundant trade wisdom and written guidance about how meetings should be run. But, as researchers Joseph Mroz and Joseph Allen (University of Nebraska Omaha) and Dana Verhoeven and Marissa Shuffler (Clemson University) point out, very little of this guidance is informed by the available science.
"Meetings are generally bad, but meeting science shows us there are concrete ways we can improve them," says Allen. "Leaders can be more organized, start on time, and encourage a safe sharing environment. Attendees can come prepared, be on time, and participate."
Science shows that, under the right circumstances, meetings can provide a place for creative thinking, problem-solving, discussion, and idea generation. And yet, a large body of employee research suggests that most meetings are inefficient despite the organizational resources devoted to them, including time, wages, mental resources, and technology.
Improving meetings isn't a trivial matter. According to the researchers' findings, employees average 6 hours per week in meetings, and managers spend an average of 23 hours in them. Studies suggest that employees' attitudes toward meetings can influence their overall attitudes toward work and their well-being.
In their report, Mroz, Allen, Verhoeven, and Shuffler highlight the ingredients of good meetings, including how people can prepare for the success of the meeting, how certain aspects of meetings can make or break them, and how what happens after a meeting can improve team outcomes.
Before the Meeting
- Assess current needs: Meetings should involve problem-solving, decision making, or substantive discussion. They should not be held to share routine or non-urgent information.
- Circulate an agenda: Having an agenda makes the meeting priorities clear to all stakeholders and allows attendees to prepare beforehand.
- Invite the right people: Leaders should ask what the goal of the meeting is and whose expertise can help the team get there.
During the Meeting
- Encourage contribution: Findings suggest that high-level performers use meetings to set goals, facilitate group understanding of work problems, and seek feedback.
- Make space for humour: Humor and laughter can stimulate positive meeting behaviours, encouraging participation and creative problem-solving research shows. These positive meeting behaviours predict team performance concurrently and two years later.
- Redirect complaining: Attendees should be aware that complaining can quickly lead to feelings of futility and hopelessness, and leaders should quell complaining as quickly as they can.
- Keep discussions focused: Leaders also make sure the purpose of the meeting and the agenda are followed. Leaders should be ready to identify dysfunctional behaviours and intervene to refocus the meeting.
After the Meeting
- Share minutes: Sending meeting minutes serves as a record of the decisions that were made, a plan of action for next steps, and an outline of designated roles and responsibilities. This step also loops in people who weren't able to attend the meeting but need the information.
- Seek feedback: Feedback can inform the structure and content of future meetings. In particular, leaders can identify meeting problems to increase attendee satisfaction.
- Look ahead: To build on progress made during the meeting, stakeholders should think about future actions, follow-through, and immediate and long-term outcomes of the meeting.
Mroz, Allen, Verhoeven, and Shuffler note that video, audio, and motion-tracking technology is allowing for better video and audio analysis of meetings. These improvements could help researchers analyze behaviors rather than attitudes and self-reports after the fact. They point out that "tele-meetings" and video conferences need more study, as they may present their own dynamics, advantages, or challenges.
This material is based in part on work supported by Greenville Health System and the National Science Foundation (NSF; CAREER Award No. 165054 to M. L. Shuffler, principal investigator).
- Joseph E. Mroz, Joseph A. Allen, Dana C. Verhoeven, Marissa L. Shuffler. Do We Really Need Another Meeting? The Science of Workplace Meetings. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2018; 096372141877630 DOI: 10.1177/0963721418776307
Cite This Page:
Association for Psychological Science. "Psychological science can make your meetings better." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 November 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181109073045.htm>.