online meetings

4 Psychological Findings to Know Before Your Next Online Meeting

Did you know clinical psychologists have conducted hundreds of studies focused on workplace meetings? It makes sense: work is such an important part of our lives, and meetings are a big part of many jobs. It’s natural that researchers would want to explore the psychological principles that are at play during online meetings.

Admittedly, we went down the rabbit hole on this one—there’s a lot to learn. Here are four of the best takeaways to use in your next online meeting.

Emotional displays are contagious.

We all notice each other’s facial expressions, gestures, tone, and speaking cadence, but what we don’t always notice is how our own emotions change as a result. Research has shown that emotions displayed by others, whether good or bad, are essentially contagious.

When you’re looking at a person rather than a person’s face on a screen, it can be a bit easier to speak with enthusiasm. However, since your emotional display will be contagious, it’s no less important to show your excitement during an online meeting. So, don’t be shy about bringing your expressions into an online meeting to spread those good vibes.

Taking turns speaking results in higher-quality online meetings.

Researchers at MIT have discovered that two factors account for 60% of the variance in meeting quality. Those factors are:

  • Taking equal turns so that everyone gets to contribute their ideas.
  • Periods of excited “talking over” chattiness, which consist of side conversations that serve to validate the ideas and build consensus.

Taken together, these two factors do a lot to determine the quality of meetings. The researchers added that encouraging all participants to contribute, in turn, is “particularly effective for improving teleconference meetings among geographically distributed groups.”

Poor audio quality causes physical stress.

If your microphone is spotty or damaged, it would be smart to get a better one before your next online meeting. That’s because poor audio quality has been proven to produce physical signs of stress in listeners. Even more worrisome, it’s likely that the listeners won’t even realize that they’re experiencing these heightened stress levels. Therefore, they won’t actively inform you about the problem. Prevent this issue before it ever comes up by ensuring your audio is clear and uninterrupted during online meetings.

People act differently when they’re being watched.

Numerous studies have shown that people are incredibly sensitive to the feeling that they’re being watched. In fact, people are so sensitive to “watchful eyes” that seeing their own reflection in the mirror can lead to better behavior. Being on camera has also been shown to improve employees’ productivity and performance.

This does strongly suggest that using video during an online meeting can make the meeting more productive. We specialize in online meeting tools, including HD video conferencing. Make your meetings more immersive and engaging with video conferencing.

About Sonya T.

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