How can you leverage neuroscience to enable higher quality remote meeting outcomes?
Jay Allen-Morris and Kirsten Clacey are remote work experts and work as team coaches at eyeo. On August 23 they will share their experiences at FrOSCon and explain how you can improve remote meetings with neuroscience. FrOSCon is fully remote and for free.
What is this talk about and what can participants expect from the talk?
In this talk we will look at a neuroscience model called SCARF, created by David Rock and how the model can be used to identify challenges that may occur in remote meetings. We will look at what is happening in our brains when we are engaging with others in a digital space. We will also share some practical ideas that anyone can try in their next meetings.
How can neuroscience help to improve remote meetings? Meeting outcomes impact organisational outcomes. By understanding the conditions which enable the kind of cognition required for healthy collaboration, we increase the chances of achieving high quality meeting outcomes. We like the phrase “all models are wrong but some are useful”. SCARF provides a different lens by which we can understand people and interactions. It gives us an idea of why people might be behaving in a particular way and how certain challenges present themselves.
Can you share an example for an improvement or one of your personal stories One thing we really value in remote meetings is allowing sufficient time for people to think and process before responding. We include a lot of silent time for people to process and engage with the content. This not only allows people to go deeper than the first thought that comes to mind, but also allows non-first language speakers more time to understand and the chance to communicate at their prefered pace. This also allows the quieter people to be ‘heard’ and those who need more time to think before speaking the chance to do so.
At eyeo we both work on teams with people from all over the world. A recent example in which we used an extreme version of this was a meeting which was held predominantly in silence. The meeting was a reflection on the past few months. We used a real time collaborative white board (Mural) and all participants wrote what they were thinking (in answer to pre populated question areas). They then engaged in silent discussion – adding comments to what each other wrote, and using any other means to express themselves – including images and colour.
The consensus after this meeting was that more voices were heard, the meeting felt more calm and we were able to process a lot more than had we been following one thread of conversation. That’s not to say that such a meeting is always suited – but in small parts, silent thinking and writing generally always improves the quality of thinking in a meeting.