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Stop Zoning Out in Zoom Meetings

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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Stop Zoning Out in Zoom Meetings

Stop Zoning Out in Zoom Meetings

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

hbr.org

7

Key Ideas

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Note prioritization
Note prioritization

Most common reasons to search through old notes:

  • Figuring out who is supposed to do what
  • Revisiting/clarifying decisions made
  • Looking for greater context on requir...
Must-Capture notes in meetings
  • Action Items: to-dos, tasks, action requests etc. These will serve as the foundation to keep everyone aligned and moving forward.
  • Decisions: Clearly defining the outcome and decision agreed to by the group is essential.
  • Requirements/Specifications: Sometimes they pop up unexpectedly in the midst of conversation, but they’re important to document.
Honing your note taking strategies during meetings
  • Create an agenda, to be able to better control the pace of the meeting and plan for the likely key notetaking moments.
  • Take notes in advance: Write your key discussion points to present in advance.
  • Prepare your note-taking tools.
  • Prepare the setting before the meeting, especially before video calls: being able to hear everyone = better notes.
  • Block 10 minutes after the meeting, to clean up your notes, add details where there may be gaps, and delete notes that turn out to have no value.
Gestures: A Warning System
Gestures: A Warning System

Gestures act as an early warning system for intent, emotion, and mood. Our body language precedes the desire of our conscious minds. Our bodies know what we want before our conscious minds do.

...
How to Use Your Intuition

If you've had the experience of a strong intuition about a person, or déjà vu, or a sensation in your gut that things are not right, even though on the surface it seems fine, then you've heard your unconscious mind trying to tell you something.

Learn to regularly pay attention to your unconscious mind, not just in moments when something feels amiss. With practice, your ability to hear your unconscious quickly and accurately will improve.

Compressed time

Leaders at all levels need to be highly skilled at getting to the point quickly and efficiently. The compressed, focused coaching session/meeting hones the skill of getting to the point quic...

Benefits of 30 minutes meetings
  • People show up: they are far less likely to skip a 30-minute session.
  • Everyone is on time.
  • People are much more likely to come prepared. There’s no time wasted on tangents and going-nowhere conversations.
  • The time pressure enhances focus and attention.
  • Participants are more willing to be courageous.
  • Participants get more done between sessions.
Make 30 minutes meetings count
  • Read what you need to beforehand and tell everyone else to do the same. Think about your questions. Decide what’s important and what you can let go of. 
  • Decide on the one thing that will make the biggest difference, and spend the 30 minutes on that issue, topic, or opportunity.
  • Get started right on time, no matter who isn’t there.
  • Save at least the last 5 minutes to summarize and commit to what you are going to do as a result of the meetings.