The questions of how to handle hybrid meetings are coming up a lot. It’s not going away any time soon, is it? Because while dear old Covid may be on its way out. We aren’t as face to face as we used to be. People are making the choice to be more virtual. Which means….more virtual meetings…which means no time between meetings to move, go to the loo, drink water etc etc.
We all very quickly feel burned out. And it shows up in our voices, in our energy. We get a bit flat, a bit 2d and so we worry about how we’re showing up in our virtual meetings. 👩💻
The problem is the inequity. As we learned from Hamilton the musical, it’s all about if you’re in the room where it happens to be.
This is what psychology calls “proximity bias”. The nearer you are, the more influential and favoured you are. Proximity bias is a term that describes the inherent tendency to favour the people and ideas that are physically closest and therefore seem most familiar to them, which leads to a feeling of trust.
And that can make things feel a little unbalanced. If you want to even the spirit level of the group, there’s a simple way to rebalance…
Use the primacy effect – the person who speaks first has the most influence on the room…to put it simply, the primacy effect refers to people’s ability to recall better what is said at the start rather than the end of a list, speech or presentation. Audiences are more likely to remember what is said at the beginning or end.
So, when the virtual people go first, they don’t feel left out and you make it as much about the zoom where it happens as the physical room and that can make all the difference.
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