Meetings Focus on the Wrong Things

calves in paddock

The American Psychological Association completed a research project on the topic and found out what people actually think about during a meeting or a speech at any given time:

  • 18% are really listening and are focused on the topic
  • 25% have erotic thoughts
  • 57% are thinking about something else
  • You know who you are!

We may argue about the exact distribution of the percentages, however, one thing seems to be obvious: it is a natural tendency for the mind to wander around and to follow associations that have been triggered by a certain key word or an event during the meeting or lecture.

RESEARCH HAS FOUND THAT

People cannot concentrate much longer than 20 minutes, and the brain works by constantly creating associations. Why not build a meeting around the way things really are?

Just another "emperors new clothes" moment, when someone looks around and says, "hey, most meetings are a waste of time." Everyone thinks it, but is too afraid to tell the boss.

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About the Author

Dan Strongin works with medium to small companies, helping them master the art and science of managing.