Meeting culture – quo vadis

From the street you can see into the meeting room through the large windows. A person is standing in front of a monitor, talking and gesticulating. You can see the live image of three of the participants, but only the initials of two of their names. There are five other people in the meeting room, about half of them facing forwards, the other half absorbed in their mobile phones or looking at open laptops that divide the room into two halves like shields. Admittedly, a very heterogeneous setting, but not an uncommon situation. It's worth reflecting on for a moment...

Scarce time resources and pressure of deadlines tempt us to do many things at once or to minimise the preparation and holding of meetings.

Appreciation as a fundamental need

It is certainly possible to make improvements at an operational level. But at the heart of the matter is attention and appreciation. They are based on an inner attitude towards other people. Attention and appreciation are basic human needs and ensure well-being. In the context of such an attitude, meetings and workshops can lead to completely different results. This makes them a valuable medium for increased engagement, participation, loyalty and ultimately high quality results.

Change begins on a small scale

Even small changes can help. Here are a few examples:

  • Friendly and respectful wording of the invitation
  • Communicate expectations and relevance of participation
  • Proactively address how to deal with each other at the start of the workshop
  • Clarify needs together and agree on procedure (e.g. plan breaks for cell phone or laptop, smaller time units, etc.)
  • Actively involve the participants in the meeting
  • “Live” a new understanding of roles: hand over responsibility on the part of the initiators, assume responsibility on the part of the participants.
  • Use the positive effects of group dynamics*

*There is an interesting study by Anita Williams and her colleagues from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, which shows that the more empathetic the members of a group are, i.e. the more aware they are of the feelings of others, the more effective and successful the work result.

Wonder box: “Meeting”

Bringing people together to exchange ideas and make progress, solve problems, make decisions and get people excited about an idea is always a win-win situation. But sometimes it is difficult to break through established patterns as a person involved and lead them down new paths. We are familiar with change processes, their hurdles as well as caveats and accompany our clients professionally and in close consulation. What do we bring to the table? An independent view from the outside, expertise in developing and expanding methodological skills for workshops and meetings and trustworthy support in changing the way we work with and for each other.

(Woolley AW, Chabris CF, Pentland A, Hashmi N, Malone TW. Evidence for a collective intelligence factor in the performance of human groups. Science. 2010 Oct 29;330(6004):686-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1193147. Epub 2010 Sep 30. PMID: 20929725., “Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups“)

What’s the next step?

For a personal consultation, feel free to contact me at any time.

Mirja Ng-Metzker

Client Relations Manager