Many meetings default to patterns like these:
- Whoever speaks first is likely to set the direction of the conversation.
- The higher-power, more extroverted, people are more likely to take up disproportionate airtime, receive credit, be given the benefit of the doubt and interrupt other
- Key information is less likely to be shared when it is already known by others; lesser-known but important information tends to not be shared broadly
- Whatever we did in the last meeting, we are likely to do again in the next meeting.
The result is predictable : a sub-optimal, sub-inclusive meeting.
We believe we can do better and make it more inclusive. And, believe it or not, in some ways that’s easier to do on virtual platforms.
1. Have a facilitator
Too many in-person meetings flounder because there is no one at the wheel. The result is airtime hogging and groupthink, which are inclusion crushers.
In the UmanGo platform, we use nudges for a smooth meeting and trigger everyone to balance airtime and bring out a range of perspectives.
2. Bring in more perspectives
Speaking of more perspectives, why talk about a topic, when you can have an actual topic expert zoom in to your meeting?
Take advantage of the virtual format to break out of the homogeneous networks that define our workplaces, levels on the org chart, communities, and social circles so that you can hear a broader array of perspectives.
Based on the topics raised for discussion, UmanGo will suggest the experts within your company to talk to and invite.
3. Read the room
Many platforms offer you a way to take the pulse of the room.
Break up groupthink with a poll, which can be anonymous or not.
This allows you to read the room and allows participants to take less popular stands without having to verbally navigate through those offering the majority opinion.
Sharing the result of a poll can shift the group norm in an instant, by revealing a previously invisible perspective.
Our daily check-out pulse survey and the poll feature allow team members to share their voice, and allow teams to discuss possible problems.
Want to know more? Want to share your experience? Please reach out to us!