This blog sets out:
Our commitment to research and why it is important to us
The research and experiments we have conducted to date
Experiment 3 - team relationships, inclusivity and wellbeing
Early results from teams
Our longer term plans for research
Konektis is committed to undertaking original research to further the understanding of how to improve meetings and meeting leadership, particularly video and hybrid meetings. We don't want to offer solutions to our clients that are not based on good science and are not properly tested.
Research to date - summary
So far, we have worked alongside UCL and Exeter University on two experiments:
Experiment 1 (March 2021) - a randomised controlled trial with intact teams which proved a benefit to using hand signals - the preprint can be found here 10.31234/osf.io/q3sa6.
Experiment 2 (July 2021) - again a randomised controlled trial, but this time with strangers who were meeting for the first time and which investigated the difference between using hand signals and reaction buttons - currently in analysis, but early results show the teams using hand signals felt they had better conversations and bonded more with each other.
Experiment 3 - Team relationships, inclusivity and wellbeing
We are now undertaking Experiment 3 involving field trials with 20-30 organisations, in which we train a team in video meeting signals, team passing and chairing and team behaviours and monitor outcomes over the following 3-6 months. This covers full video and hybrid meetings.
We are interested in speaking with organisations that would like to be involved. There is no cost for your involvement other than your time. Your team will have the opportunity to learn some skills which could benefit them for all future meetings and many teams gain a benefit in terms of increased performance and engagement.
If you would like to be involved please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The experiment involves:
1. A team leader meeting and initial questionnaire (completed by all team members)
2. Your team participating in a 60-75 minute facilitated training session in which they will learn techniques to improve their online meetings
3. The team using the approaches they have learnt in their subsequent meetings
4. A further questionnaires, a team review and a 30-minute interview with the team leader
If you think you could be interested and you have or might know of a team willing to participate, let us know. We were thinking of your workplace team, but this could also be applicable to any organisation, such as a non-executive role with a club or organisation.
The ideal team size is 6-15, an intact team that meet regularly over Zoom/Teams or similar. They can be a new team with new members or a well-established team. They can be in any function/combination, a project team, a global team - as long as they meet regularly together online and have a nominated team leader.
The techniques can make a huge difference to team meetings. The graph below shows the difference in team member views before and after just two one-hour team sessions on the techniques.
Feedback from team leaders
Organisations and teams that have used the techniques report very positive outcomes. Two examples are below and further testimonies can be found on our website.
Mark Smith, Market Development Director at LexisNexis:
‘Paul (Konektis) worked with a leadership team at LexisNexis to introduce the video signals approach to enhancing engagement and participation in virtual meetings. He took a high-performing team and improved meeting efficiency and communication while at the same time providing the opportunity to deepen relationships.’
Heather Coupland, Oxford Innovation
We're actually able to communicate without talking over each other and I think that's the biggest issue in a meeting now on Zoom - when do you speak. Paul taught us the team chairing and passing technique, so the fact that we can pass the conversation to each other. We can engage with each other without actually having to open our mouths and disrupt the person, which makes a massive difference
Experiment 3 - extended training for some teams
Some of the groups undertaking Experiment 3 will be offered the opportunity for an extended research intervention which will involve additional facilitated sessions focused on one or more of the following:
the additional challenges of hybrid meetings
video meeting leadership and facilitation skills - agenda setting, meeting roles
wellbeing and home working
making more use of your video platform - using new tools, apps that map onto the types of meetings you have
This will enable us to assess the impact of combining the use of hand signals and passing with additional interventions.
Our longer term plans for research
We’re excited to update you that Konektis are now a formal partner in support of a research project proposal led by Dr Matt Gobel from The University of Exeter, aimed at ‘Engineering Behaviour and Technology for Inclusive Online and Hybrid Meetings’.
Over three years, the project would aim to automatically assess visual, linguistic, and physiological markers that indicate whether a shared sense of togetherness and inclusivity is experienced or disrupted during an online or hybrid meeting. Using insights from social and cognitive psychology combined with computational science, the project will develop state-of-the-art digital and behavioural solutions and design interventions which aim to increase a shared sense of togetherness during online and hybrid meetings.
Some examples of the project’s outputs will include:
solutions to augment the graphical interface of online meetings to increase the experience of inclusivity
guidelines for best practice and training for explicit gesturing as social signals in hybrid meetings
an AI-driven interface that dynamically adjusts visual and auditory signals in real-time to reduce disruptions to a shared sense of togetherness and inclusivity.
If you’re interested in finding out more and getting involved, please let us know and we will put you in touch with Dr Matt Gobel who can talk you though the project and process.