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Episode 106

March 31, 2021

106: From offline to online to hybrid meetings with Joseph Allen

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    This week, I am joined by Joe Allen – a meeting scientist, professor of Industrial Organisational Psychology, Director at the Center for Meeting Effectiveness, and co-author of Suddenly Virtual.

    Joe’s dedication to the science of how and why we meet is helping to advance organisations’ understanding of how to have better meetings and, for the last year or so, his focus has been on the sudden shift we had to make to online meetings.

    Now, as we start to emerge from the throes of the pandemic, he is predicting a rise in hybrid meetings – in which some people are on-site and others are remote.

    Together, we explore how we can have successful hybrid meetings and how we can make meetings of all formats run more smoothly, efficiently, and enjoyably.

    Find out about

    • Why better meetings start with diagnosis, not solutions
    • The three most common issues Joe finds in meetings – and their solutions
    • Whether cancelling a meeting is helpful or harmful
    • What lessons Joe learned in writing his book: Suddenly Virtual
    • The positive and negative changes we’ve seen in the shift to online meetings
    • Exploring hybrid meetings: their limitations, potential, and use cases

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    Feeling inspired by the conversation in this episode? We can have our own – take a seat at my virtual table as part of a Mastermind Group.

    And if the idea of NeverDoneBefore 2021, the festival of facilitation caught your attention; explore it in more detail!

    Questions and Answers

    01:01You are a meeting scientist! What is that?

    03:16Would you call yourself a facilitator?

    06:36What gets in the way and creates the knowing vs. doing gap?

    What are the top three issues you encounter with meetings?

    08:181) Overload

    12:362) Challenging personalities

    18:463) Stale meetings

    24:25 What has been the impact of the switch to ‘Suddenly Virtual’?

    27:32Did people at the top of the hierarchy struggle most with the shift to virtual?

    31:30What is a hybrid meeting?

    34:17What are the traps in hybrid meetings that facilitation can help us avoid?

    37:38Do people naturally fall into ‘subgroups’ in hybrid meetings?

    43:47Do hybrid meetings require more facilitation than other formats?

    45:20What makes a meeting fail?

    52:00What is the one thing you would like listeners to take away from this episode?


    Joe’s website

    Joe’s new book, Suddenly Virtual

    The Meeting by Helen B. Schwartzman

    Connect to Joe