We’ve all been guilty. Ten minutes after logging in to a Zoom meeting our mind begins to wander. Our attention turns to our in-box, our curious dog, or what time dinner is coming out of the oven. Chalk it up to the Ringelmann Effect. When French architectural engineer Max Ringelmann asked a team of people to pull on a rope, and then asked individuals — separately — to pull on the same rope, he noticed that when people worked as individuals, they put in more effort. The bigger the group, the less responsibility each individual feels. In virtual meetings—especially large ones—the Ringelmann effect is magnified.
So, the success of virtual meetings depends on listener participation. Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Sarah Gershman, professor at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University and president of Green Room Speakers, offers tips for staying focused:
How did you handle the situation the last time your attention wandered during a virtual meeting? Any tips to share? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.