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Offbeat: Psychological science can make your meetings better –

Education from nearly 200 scientific studies at workplace meetings gives a number of psychological researchers recommendations to get the most…

Education from nearly 200 scientific studies at workplace meetings gives a number of psychological researchers recommendations to get the most out of meetings before they begin when they are done and after they have finished. Their report is published in the Current Guidelines in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Meetings are an almost all-around aspect of today’s professional workplace and there is ample commercialism and written guidance on how meetings are to be conducted. However, as researchers Joseph Mroz and Joseph Allen (University of Nebraska Omaha) and Dana Verhoeven and Marissa Shuffler (Clemson University) point out, much of this guidance is informed of available science.
“Meetings are usually bad but meeting science shows us there are concrete ways to improve them,” says Allen. “Leaders can be more organized, start on time and encourage a secure sharing environment. Participants may come prepared, be on time and attend. “
Science shows that meetings under the right circumstances can provide space for creative thinking, problem solving, discussion and idea generation. But a large part of employee research indicates that most meetings are ineffective despite the organizational resources devoted to them, including time , wages, mental resources and technology.
Improving meetings is not a trivial issue. According to researchers ‘findings, employees spend an average of 6 hours a week in meetings and managers an average of 23 hours. Studies indicate that employees’ attitude to meetings may influence their overall attitudes towards work and their well-being.
In its report, Mroz, Allen, Verhoeven and Shuffler highlight the ingredients in good meetings, including how people can prepare for meeting success, how certain aspects of meetings can do or break them and how what happens after a meeting can improve the team performance.
Before m tet
Assess current needs: Meetings should involve problem solving, decision or substantial debate. They should not be held to share routine or non-urgent information.
Circulating an agenda: Having an agenda makes meeting priorities clear to all stakeholders and allows participants to prepare in advance.
Invite the right people: Leaders should ask what the meeting is aimed at and whose expertise can help the team get there.
During the meeting
Encourage contributions: The findings suggest that high level artists use meetings to set goals, facilitate group understanding of work problems and seek feedback.
Make sense of humor: Humor and laughter can stimulate positive meeting behavior, encourage participation and creative problem solving, research shows. These positive meeting behaviors predicts team performance at the same time and two years later.
Redirect complains: Participants should be aware that complainants can quickly lead to feelings of nuisance and hopelessness, and leaders should choke complaints as soon as they can.
Discussions focused: Leaders also ensure that the purpose of the meeting and agenda is followed. Leaders should be ready to identify dysfunctional behaviors and intervene to focus on the meeting.
After the meeting
Delminutes: Send meeting minutes serve as a record of the decisions taken, an action plan for the next step and an overview of selected roles and responsibilities. This step also listens to people who could not attend the meeting but need the information.
Search Feedback: Feedback can inform the structure and content of future meetings. In particular, leaders can identify meeting problems to increase participants satisfaction.
See further: To build on progress made during the meeting, stakeholders should think about future actions, follow-up and immediate and long-term results of the meeting.
Mroz, Allen, Verhoeven and Shuffler note that video, audio and motion tracking technology enables better video and audio analysis of meetings. These improvements can help researchers analyze behaviors instead of attitudes and self-reports according to the fact. They point out that “tele-meetings” and video conferences need more studies because they can present their own dynamics, benefits or challenges.
This material is based partly on work supported by Greenville Health System and the National Science Foundation (NSF; CAREER Award No. 1

65054 to ML Shuffler, Principal Researcher).

Association for Psychological Sciences. .

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