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Stop Zoning Out in Zoom Meetings

https://hbr.org/2020/05/stop-zoning-out-in-zoom-meetings

hbr.org

Stop Zoning Out in Zoom Meetings
Five strategies to get your head in the game.

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Make Virtual Meetings More Effective

Make Virtual Meetings More Effective

The listeners of a virtual meeting play an important role in ensuring the multi-participant meeting is a success.

Generally, listeners feel less motivated to listen, participate or take initiative. These feelings are magnified in virtual meetings and conference calls as they have more distractions present for the participant.

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The Ringelmann Effect

The Ringelmann Effect

In 1913, a French architectural engineer discovered that when a group of people pull a rope, they put in less effort, as compared to them pulling the rope alone. This came to be known as the Ringelmann Effect.

The same effect is seen in group activities like a virtual meeting, in which the participants are not putting in the effort, and are distracted. The key to having a fulfilling meeting as a participant is to listen more effectively, and this is explained in five strategies.

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Define Your Values

Before the meeting starts, take a few minutes to attain self-clarity on the purpose of the meeting, your contribution, and what exactly you hope to learn from the video call.

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Acknowledge Previous Statements

Before we jump into conclusions or try to make our point, we need to listen and acknowledge what has just been said by the presenter or fellow participant. Not listening or acknowledging what others say leads to long and frustrating conversations where participants are repeating themselves to be heard.

People also talk over each other in virtual meetings, and the only way to avoid all this is to listen actively.

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Connect The Dots

Listening attentively makes us connect the dots and make people understand the larger dynamic, guiding the conversation in a productive direction without wasting precious time.

The fact that you have listened attentively is evident in your words, when you finally speak up.

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Bring Back Your Attention

Distractions appear enticing during any activity that requires concentrations and a constant attentiveness is hard.

One way to refocus is to write down the distracting thoughts that crop up, and get back to the video call.

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Ask To Repeat

If you lose track of the conversation due to a distraction or being lost in daydreams, simply apologize and ask if someone can help you understand what the topic of focus is right now. This will help other distracted souls too.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Why virtual meetings go bad

  • Attendees often multi-task and don't pay attention to the discussion.
  • Meeting organizers tend to be less careful with the purpose and design of the conversation.
  • Usual...

Run great virtual meetings

  • Use video, but also provide an audio dial-in-option,
  • Test the equipment you are going to use before the meeting.
  • Make sure people can see each other properly.
  • Set an agenda, set some rules and clearly outline the next steps.
  • Make sure presentations take very little time.
  • Set a facilitator and call on people individually to speak.
  • Capture feedback in real-time and tackle difficult issues.

Introducing People

Introducing People

People no longer have the option to introduce themselves to new people at their convenience (like in an office setting, for example). With the remote setting, the second someone joins an online mee...

The Waiting Room

It is advisable to enable the waiting room option for new joiners so that they are made to enter one at a time and provided with a proper introduction.

It also takes care of the risk of your meeting getting crashed by someone suddenly.

The Art Of The Pause

  • Video chats with multiple participants have a lot of cross-talk and people talking at the same time. This problem is compounded by dodgy internet speeds.

  • It is possible to listen to only one person at a time, so one has to learn the art of the pause. Stopping and staying silent will allow others to calm down.

  • Zoom also has a raise hand feature, which helps facilitate the meeting in an orderly fashion.

4 more ideas

Attending conferences

Conferences are overwhelming:  the rush of presentations, conversations, and potential meet-ups, and it can make it tough for you if you want to find focus.

But skipping them isn't the bes...

Change your mindset

See networking from a different perspective: You’re not just networking because you should; you’re doing it because it’s good for your career.

Pre-introduce yourself

Think about the people you would like to get to know and then carve out time to accomplish that goal:

  • A few before the conference, make a 'priority wish list' of people you’d like to meet. 
  • Send those people an email introducing yourself and asking to meet; if possible, get an introduction from a mutual friend or colleague.