Make Virtual Meetings More Effective - Deepstash
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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MORE IDEAS FROM Stop Zoning Out in Zoom Meetings

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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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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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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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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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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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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RELATED IDEA

Closeness-Communication Bias

Highly successful leaders sometimes struggle to communicate with people that they know well. This error is not prevalent while talking to strangers, and is called the Closeness-Communication Bias, and is due to an illusion of insight while communicating with friends or close colleagues.

There are certain strategies that leaders and managers can apply to improve their communication effectiveness.

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Difficulty speaking up during virtual meetings

We all struggle to speak up at times for many reasons:

  • It's harder to read physical and social cues onscreen and even impossible on a big team.
  • If you're a junior employee or still new to the company, you may feel reserved around your teammates.
  • You may feel your ideas are still half-baked and won't be seen as valuable.
  • You may feel someone more experienced may take your suggestions as personal critiques.

However, if you stay silent, the quality of collective decisions may suffer.

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Remote workers in the hybrid setup

There is a huge difference between being virtual like many were at the start of the pandemic, and the hybrid way of working that many companies are planning for.

With people split between the home and the office, companies will go from a situation where there is a single mode of communication to one where people are showing up from different locations, and potentially using different means of communication.

This could easily lead to meetings becoming confusing or tip the conversation in favor of those who are physically in the room. That could mean those who work remotely are overlooked.

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