Episode 17 – Season 2

Published: January 10, 2022

Paul Hills, Founder and CEO of Konektis.org | Bringing the body language back to video meetings

Paul Hills, Founder and CEO of Konektis.org | Bringing the body language back to video meetings

You can also see this episode on our Youtube channel if you would like to see Ian and Paul demonstrate the hand signals discussed in the podcast.

Ian is joined by Paul Hills the founder of Konektis.org, which helps organisations transform their online meetings. Paul is an expert in video and hybrid meetings and the creator of some innovative techniques that are helping to bring body language back to video meetings. Paul is also an Honorary Research Fellow at UCL Department of Experimental Psychology, a Fellow of the RSA and a member of the Good Work Guild.  

If that wasn’t enough to keep him busy he is Co-founder of Gyllyngvase Wellbeing Swimmers Group in Falmouth which aims to support its member’s wellbeing through open water swimming in the sea off this lovely Cornish beach.

So, In this episode, as well as talking to Paul about his thoughts on wellbeing in general we discuss what good meeting practice looks like and how that can help wellbeing as well as trying out some of the techniques.

Paul and Ian discussed:

  • Paul’s research into meetings
  • What’s wrong with zoom meetings
  • How bad meetings impact wellbeing
  • The different hand signals Paul uses in meetings
  • How to get started with implementing Paul’s ideas.

Paul Is inspired by:

Rewild Yourself: 23 Spellbinding Ways to Make Nature More Visible by Simon Barnes

How to contact Paul:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-hills-277b97/

konektis.org  

Transcript

Introduction
Welcome to the Workplace Wellbeing Podcast, the podcast for wellbeing professionals that looks at best practices in organisations that care about their people, and which keeps an eye on the growing number of suppliers in the wellbeing space.

The workplace wellbeing podcast is sponsored by fastPAYE a financial wellbeing solution that facilitates flexible salary advances. It also provides access to financial education, a benefits assessment calculator, and a host of other financial wellbeing tools. fastPAYE he is part of the work tech group that includes ShopWorks Workforce Solutions, and SolvedBy.Ai.

ShopWorks offers Scheduling and Time and Attendance tools that improve your workforce management processes. Whilst SolvedBy.Ai provides unique artificial intelligence products that deliver optimum staffing levels and improve employee retention.

Ian Hogg  

Hi, and welcome to the Workplace Wellbeing Podcast. I’m Ian Hogg Chairman of fastP.A.Y.E. Today I’m very pleased to be joined by Paul Hills, the Founder of Konektis.org, which helps organisations transform their online meetings. Paul is an expert in video and hybrid meetings, a creator of some innovative techniques that are helping to bring body language back to video meetings. Paul is also an Honorary Research Fellow at UCL Department of Experimental Psychology, a Fellow at the RCA and a member of the Good Work Guild. If that wasn’t enough to keep him busy. He’s Co-Founder of Gylly Wellbeing Swimmers Group in Falmouth, which aims to support its member’s wellbeing to open warm water swimming in the sea of this lovely Cornish beach. So in today’s episode, as well as talking to Paul about his thoughts on wellbeing in general, we want to discuss what good meeting practice looks like, and how that can help wellbeing as well as trying out some of his techniques.

As a first for our podcast, we’re also publishing this edition on our YouTube channel. So you can see the techniques in action, just search for fastP.A.Y.E on YouTube, or follow the link below. For those who aren’t watching this edition on YouTube. Don’t worry, we’ll talk you through the hand signals, which are pretty easy to explain. Hello, Paul. Hello. Very nice to see you today. Nice to see you too. And like I said, the first time the listeners have got to see my face for radio.

Paul Hills  

 There’s gonna be a whole new chapter opening up Hollywood Watch out.

Ian Hogg  

Yeah, somehow? I don’t think so. But, but it’s nice to be to suggest it.

Paul Hills  

It’s I think a really good place to start is why don’t you tell our listeners a bit about your background, and maybe expand on all your experiences in the space outside of connecting? Yeah, of course. So I’ve been a kind of lifelong management consultant trainer involved in all aspects of leadership and working with teams. So pre COVID, I spent most of my time with teams in real life, you remember that when we used to get together face to face. And I probably worked with over 200 organisations and loads and loads of leaders and teams generally helping them be more effective in change programmes, leadership, team effectiveness, and so on. And obviously, all of that dramatically changed when COVID hit the first time around. And we were suddenly in the world of zoom and teams and everything. And I just found that immensely frustrating because I think like being with people. And I think I hadn’t realised how much I read from other people’s reactions, and how much I value even just like you did, you did a little nod there, which was a very small nod.

But that kind of made me think yeah, he is listening to me, he kind of this I think I’m guessing his value when I’m saying he’s with me is not doing something else. He’s not multitasking. And in fact, when you’re in a meeting, people tend not to multitask. And you can tell when they’re on the phones, you remember how annoyed people used to get when people were on their phones. But in the world of zoom, I very quickly discovered that wasn’t the case.

You know, firstly, you couldn’t really read the body language. I think we all found this, you know, we were looking at ourselves, and we were looking at other people and, and they didn’t seem to move much. And we also began to mistrust whether or not they were really listening, because we all know how easy it is to multitask to split the screen to do something to your emails at the same time as you’re in a meeting, to even go the whole way and turn your video off and in and kind of do other stuff when the meetings going on and, and actually cast yourself in the role of an onlooker or a bystander. And that was some of the research I did was into what does it take to be in a conversation and actually, surprise, surprise, being present really important. 

Ian Hogg  

So tell us a bit more about the research. Who did you do it with? What sort of research was it?

 Paul Hills  

I started just by doing my own research. I am a kind of research analyst by background and I just started by asking people questions. Teams I was working with and team leaders and just seeing if they are experiencing the same as me and see if they thought this was a bit weird and a bit odd and sometimes a bit rude. And I got such a consistent reaction, everyone was saying the same thing. And I’m sure lots of the listeners will feel the same. It didn’t feel comfortable in zoom. You wondered if people were really listening for lots of people, their self-talk then becomes Am I good enough? Am I saying anything sensible enough? And I researched what was happening chemically, and you’re just not getting that dopamine kick, we used to have that reaction from people. And it triggers positive chemicals in our brain, and it makes us feel better. You know, we like getting a reaction. We’d like to feel we’re worthy.

We’ve said something useful. And what kind of research are you doing me a hand signal there that which Ian is doing a hand signal. Which if you’re listening on the radio, he put his hand up next to him a bit like the kind of Cub Scout sign, and that just means me as well. So I’ve taught him these, and he didn’t have to say anything there. But I knew, he was empathising, he had a similar thought or feeling, which is fantastic. And it’s so nice that I, you didn’t have to interrupt me off, stop Zoom.

Anyway, essentially, everyone was saying the same. And team leaders particularly were very frustrated, they felt people were switching off. And they weren’t participating in the meeting, and team leaders were having to do a lot more work. And also saying meetings don’t feel as inclusive. Sometimes they’re dominated by a few. And some people have chosen to do less, they’ve opted out, they’ve decided it’s a lot of effort to try and speak. You don’t get that cognitive reward. It doesn’t feel good. So why not do other stuff? Why not? You know, why not be a bystander and dip in and out. And it just seemed to be very dysfunctional. T

his is my own research. I have done so much more. I then came up with a technique, which perhaps we’ll talk about in a minute, what is the technique, but I came up with the technique. And I found several techniques, I found they just worked, they very quickly changed the nature of meetings. And the more detailed research was that I took these techniques to a couple of professors at UCL who were very interested because it tied in with research they were doing anyway around the use of gestures and gaze and how you form a bond between people. And we basically put it to the test in the laboratory.

So we did two randomised controlled trials, the first one with groups of students, the second one with non-students who didn’t know each other. And we found conclusively that using these techniques I came up with, help the team’s bond better, help them have more inclusive meetings, help them have better meetings, and just help them feel better. So there was less of this sense of zoom fatigue, and feeling a bit bad about a meeting.

 Ian Hogg  

 I mean, interesting, that you know, it’s the first I’ve heard you talk about the dopamine effect. But actually, you know, I can remember back in the old days, when used to meet face to face, you know, coming out of meetings and being you know, buzzing I suppose because you felt that maybe it was a sales pitch, or maybe it was some sort of, you know, big challenging meeting, like a board meeting, where you come out and you really feel like you’ve achieved something in the meeting. I don’t think I’ve ever had that on a zoom call, you know? Yeah, thank you for agreeing.

 Paul Hills  

And I’m giving you the hand signal shows I emphasise. So again, we’re non verbally, we’re able to communicate there. And it’s interesting, right? It seems you know, again, I’ve done lots of reading around this. And it also just makes sense logically, right? Since we were children in the cots, we’ve been very attuned to the faces of the people looking at us, you know, we have learned it feels nice to get a smile, it feels nice to get a reaction.

And we kind of, you know, we grew up from, from babies to children, getting really good at that getting good at attracting the attention of somebody doing something and getting a reaction that made us feel good, and it’s just it’s subconscious. But when we don’t get that, we all sorts of bad things happen, you know, self-doubt creeps in, we don’t get that chemical reaction, and we start to worry.

And we start to feel fatigued. In fact, someone said to me, it’s when the meetings don’t go so well. It’s like going to a bad party. Now, if you go to a good party, you put a lot into that and you’re energised, and you talk a lot and you could argue you’re fatigued, but you come out buzzing a bit, you use the word buzzing from a meeting, you come out buzzing, you come out feeling positive, you go to a bad party, and I’m sure everyone here at some point has been to a bad party. It feels like a real effort and a real drain. And you probably don’t put as much physical energy in but you come out feeling low, feeling depressed, feeling whatever, feeling sad, you know, your general sense of well being is low. And one of the people I was interviewing just did like in their meetings like that.

They said they’re not all bad. But when I go to a bad meeting, it’s like going to a bad party. I feel bad for quite a while afterwards. When I go to a good meeting. I’m buzzing and I’m ready for my next activity. And I think that’s what’s kind of happening in lots of zoom meetings. They’re like, mediocre or at worst a bad party. 

Ian Hogg  

Yeah, listen before we let us move on to some of the techniques and some more detail on it. I want to take you back to Gyllyngvase till we see that what’s that about? 

 Paul Hills  

Yeah, sure. So I’m very lucky I do live 200 metres from the sea in Falmouth, and we moved here just when I was about 40. It was a massive lifestyle change, I felt I wasn’t enjoying the fast lane I was in London, and I wanted to carry on doing interesting work, but also move somewhere that when my children could grow up in a nicer environment, so we made this big move to Falmouth, and I’ve become I was already into water and water sports, but I’ve got seriously into it. And I am involved in Surf Lifesaving, and I’m a trained lifeguard, actually, which links to the hand signals later on, but also with a friend. And it was primarily his efforts. In lockdown, we noticed lots more people wanting to swim. And because there were very few things you could do, but they were new to swimming and swimming in the open water, if you haven’t done it before can be dangerous. And some people wanted some help. They wanted some technique training, they say no, I’m a good pool swimmer.

But I don’t really know how to swim in waves and chop and I feel uncomfortable. So essentially, we just formed a group where we could come together and give people some free coaching and just basically introduce them to the sea in a safe way, and help them with their technique. 

Ian Hogg  

I’m recording this in December, are you out at this time of the year or not? 

Paul Hills  

No, I would be by I’ve just had COVID I’m still getting over it. I’ve got a chest cold still. But pretty much most days. My morning, my morning routine is to get up meet some friends on the beach, go and see. 

Ian Hogg  

What’s the, what’s the hand signal for Shiver? 

Paul Hills  

Well, yeah, it is. For the one already most of us were wetsuits, I am a wetsuit person. some people go in skins, and you know, and built up a kind of resistance to that and we’re going for half an hour even in December, January, without a wetsuit, I need one, I just my body temp, my core body temperature just gets too cold, and I like to stay in for a decent swim. So I find I’m better off with the wetsuit, but it does in terms of wellbeing. And lots of people will say this is swim in the sea. It’s just amazing. You can go down to the water feeling a bit, so so about the day you have a swim, and you come back feeling, I come back feeling 100%. I come back, you know, really buzzing feeling completely up for the day. So I’ve just floated in some freshwater. I’ve seen the outside world maybe since wildlife, you know, I’ve smelled the fresh air, it is really lovely. 

Ian Hogg  

Yeah, no, I get it. I feel the same about walking out in the country. 

Paul Hills  

Absolutely. There are loads of ways to get that buzz, I think. 

Ian Hogg  

okay, tell us a little bit about Konektis then, what’s that business trying to achieve?

Paul Hills  

So Konektis. is my consultancy that previously was doing leadership programmes face to face. But when all of that stopped, I decided to see if I could really change the pivot to use the word and then to actually properly pivot and not carry on doing what I used to do. But see if I can move in a different direction because I got so interested in meetings. And this evolved, you know, this wasn’t a grand plan on day one this evolved. But I tried out these techniques and realised they worked and I thought, well, maybe there’s potential to do some more research and some more work in this area. So Konektis is my vehicle for trying to share my ideas about having better zoom and team meetings with the world really. So you know, the mission of Konektis is to help people have better video, and hybrid meetings. 

Ian Hogg  

Okay, fine. Well, why don’t we Why don’t we move on to some of those techniques, and a little kind of audio, lesson and for those on the YouTube channel. What sort of techniques can we use?

Paul Hills  

A couple of things, really. So the first one, and actually I also realised that the first important thing before the techniques is just your mindset about meetings. So the first technique isn’t the hand signal, it’s a mindset, which is that if we’re going to enter a video meeting, let’s all commit to making this meeting good. And let’s say that as a shared responsibility because I think one of the things that have happened when meetings, particularly zoom in teams, is it’s been okay to opt-out. And so I start from the principle of, rather than have a one-hour poor meeting, why don’t we all commit and open our energies in and all be present and try and have a 45-minute good meeting? So that’s the kind of the first principle. Then let’s use some hand signals to help it be better. And one of the first principles in hand signals is that you need a reaction from other people. If you’re not getting a reaction, you’re not getting that buzz, you’re not getting an incentive. Thank you, Ian, give me a thumbs up. So the first very basic simple is the double thumbs up. So nice, big bold gesture. Everybody can see it with two thumbs holding it for a second or two. And really, that’s just saying to the other person, I hear you, I’m with you. I like what you’re saying, you know, keep going. And if you’re in a meeting and then say there are eight people and four or five of them give you the thumbs up. It just feels nice, you know, you feel that they listening to you. And what’s also interesting is people smile. So often one of the people gives a thumbs up or smile, this is quite fun to do, then a couple of other people smile, and that feels good. And as the speaker, you often smile, and you’ll often acknowledge that you’ll often say Thanks, Ian. Thanks, Susan. Thanks, John. So you’re getting a bit of a connection with other people.

So that you know, so it can be anything but a simple thumbs up. So really good one, I then introduced two other hand signals, I’d learned from a charity I’m involved in called a band of brothers, where we mentor young men who are in danger of becoming involved in the criminal justice system. And we sit pre-COVID, we would get together in a human circle, and we would share stuff, we talk to each other. And we kind of share experiences. And there were two hand signals they used in that circle that I found really powerful. One of them was the one you used with me earlier, which is my hand up by my side, that just means me as well. So if I said to you, I’ve had a bad week, it’s been really rough on the back of COVID. And you went like that, you would just be saying to me without speaking I’ve had a bad week as well might not be the same thing. But I share that with you. And it’s a nice way for people to connect, you know, they can without speaking without interrupting the flow. And the other thing you could do in that same situation is you and this is another really good use of a hand signal. You could put your hands on your heart and hold it there for a second or two. And you’re you know, people will guess what that is you’re sending me some sympathy, you’re sending me some kind of like feel you.

Absolutely, which is just really nice. What I found is it’s nice to receive people like that if you’re seeing you’re a team and you’re doing check-in and you’re saying, what’s it been like this week, you know, what, what was what one good thing from last week, one, one not so good thing, which lots of teams will do. If you use these hand signals me as well, or send you some kind thoughts, that little check-in works much better. And people like it, what I also found is they’d like receiving it, but they’re also like giving it once you get used to doing this, you realise that by putting your hands your heart and sending thoughts to somebody else actually feels quite nice to do it. And there is a kind of, you know, a small wellbeing benefit just from that little micro thing that you and your colleagues have done. And so the other thing that happens when we’re a group and we start to connect together well, it’s we get oxytocin and another one of these brain chemicals, that it is a chemical around togetherness, you know, we’re kind of bonding with each other, there’s a sense of community and that’s another really important thing.

So you know, that’s how the signals are helping us with our with essentially with our wellbeing we’re getting, you know, positive different chemical reactions that we like, that we kind of crave, we’ve learned to get used to since we were children. And that we know we get in physical meetings often but we often miss them too. So that was the kind of the first set was you know, let’s have a mindset of turning up showing up and being present. Let’s commit to not multitasking. And let’s give each other feedback using hand signals. And we sort of replacing what’s called the backchannel in normal conversation. So if we were face to face, we would do that by going Yeah, aha, Okay, nice on or doing a nod or raising our eyebrows, they’d be much smaller gestures, many of them verbal, that would give that same sense of feedback. But we know on a zoom call that can’t work because we all have to be on mute when somebody’s speaking or we steal the conversation, so you lose the verbal Backchannel. And very often people’s body language is too difficult to notice that you need to be much more overt with your body language if you’re going to nod or smile on Zoom, you know, do a big nod, do a big smile because otherwise it might not get picked up. 

Ian Hogg  

And I have heard where people have been in meetings where people have tried to communicate verbally. And of course, it disrupts the flow. So the person who’s trying to speak even if I do say, you know, oh, yeah, good, good one, Paul, or you know, John gives some positive feedback. It actually is disrupted the flow. And, you know, where’s your thumbs up you’ve just given me hasn’t.

Paul Hills  

 And then you sort of conclude it’s not worth doing it because you did it you know, you feel bad about interrupting the flow didn’t really work. So everyone decides to go on mute, be quiet and not really move. Which again, the problem with that is it’s confusing for other people because me really concentrating on you but still looking just like me really concentrating because I’m actually doing my emails. I’m pretending I’m looking at you. They kind of have the same face. So it’s not surprising that we all get a bit of doubt in our minds as to whether or not people are really tuned in. The other thing then the other technique introduced which also uses hand signals, slightly combats, one of the problems you hinted at, which is how do I know when it’s my go-to speak? And I and I kind of you know, again, making this up, but um, when we’re doing lifeguard training on the beach, we use hand signals a lot because you can’t hear each other on a busy beach and you’re often several 100 metres away. And they work really well because we learn them as a team. And we all know them really well. And it’s just its part of being in that role. So I use the big lifeguard wave to say, I want to speak next. So if we’re speaking, yeah, absolutely. That would mean you want to speak, I’m assuming as you’re doing that, just to show you, 

Ian Hogg  

I was just, I was just demonstrating for people watching on YouTube. 

Paul Hills  

Suggested rules in the meeting are when you’re speaking, you don’t just stop, you actually pass the conversation. So we see the conversation a bit like a ball in a team game or a baton in a relay, when you have to pass it, you can’t just stop. And I have to, when I’m finishing, I need to pass it to somebody, how do I know who to pass to because they’ll give me a big wave. So the rule is, if you want to go next if you want to, and you should look to offer a pass, if I am going to I’m going to pass to Ian now as he has given me a wave. 

 Ian Hogg  

Yeah, listen. And that was a genuine, not a demo. demonstration. So I mean, I love it, I think it’s a really simple idea. And I always think the best ideas are quite often the simplest. And since we first spoke probably a month or two ago. Now, Paul, I’ve actually been doing this more in zoom meetings. Since you know, and I’ve found pretty quick, positive results, you know, and I find that you know, I, you know, I can add the thumbs up, which you’ve just given me there is probably my simple bit of advice to any listener is, if you just do more thumbs up and start there, that is really easy, obvious, you don’t need to train anybody what you’re doing. And I just started doing that, after you discussed it with me. And it’s, it’s had a positive impact already. So, you know, I think it’s a simple, but quite brilliantly simple idea that has a positive effect. So I’m going to hand it back to you.

Paul Hills  

Next, I’m waving fantastic it obviously with two of you, it’s easier to manage the conversation, this really comes into its own the passing when you’ve got maybe six 8, 10 people. And just to further the kind of the extra bit into that is if you were to wave above your head, and then pump your hands together that on one on top of the other. That would mean you want to speak because you want to build on my point. So that’s nice because I can say I passed to Ian because I know he wants to build. If you scratch your head Laurel and Hardy style, that means you’ve got a question you want to speak, you’ve got a question. And if you cross your hands in front of you, that means you want to speak because you’d like to introduce a different angle on the conversation or a different point of view, or some new data. And I’ve found again, particularly when I was working with the student groups, and they were having debates around academic papers, this was really valuable because it meant the seminar leader, the lecturer didn’t need to choose who went next, the discussion could be much more dynamic. And the students knew who to pass the conversation to and they knew why. So they started to get really good at it. And they’d say, I want to pass to Joe because she wants to bring in a new perspective. And I want to pass it to Bill because he’s got a question. And, and it was great.

This the feedback from the seminar leaders was this is so much more relaxing, you know that the students have a means for debating, the students also said, now I see a reason to leave my video on, you know before I was reluctant, and part of my reluctance was, well, what’s the point? No one’s doing anything. And as soon as a few people turn their video off, everyone concludes the same. And it becomes a sort of vicious cycle. Using some hand signals, you can turn it very quickly into a virtuous cycle. There’s a reason for having your video on, you’re getting a positive reaction from other people. You’ve got a mechanism for passing the conversation. Everyone’s agreed to be present. You know, as you said, it’s pretty simple. But it can make a fundamental shift to how the meeting works. 

 Ian Hogg  

Yeah. Definitely. And it’s, you know, I found it’s quick and easy to introduce, well, certainly on the simple level of thumbs up. But just moving on then. So are you working with companies on this now? And you know, have you been working long enough to get any evidence that it does have a positive impact on wellbeing?

 Paul Hills  

Yes, in that and there’s a number of answers to that. So the randomised control trials, the two of them we’ve done with the universities, showed us statistically using control groups that we were getting positive benefits and working with about 30. I’ve worked with about 30 organisations and I’m currently working with teams right now to see the best way to implement this and the best way to maximise its effect. And I have found that it is very simple and you can just, people can just pick this up after this podcast and start doing it but I have found that because it is a new habit and a new set of techniques. It’s quite good for a team to have about an hour to an hour and a half. The initial practice I call it it’s training but it’s more practice where they use it on three or four exercises and start to look, to learn to like it and overcome a degree of perhaps risk and putting tension, the embarrassment about using their hands, you know, we’ve all got used to not doing it. Now we’ve got to really get used to doing it. We’ve also got to retrain our gaze. So it’s now worth looking at the other people on the call, people have actually got very quickly into the habit of only looking at themselves, or not looking at anybody because there’s no point or looking at Facebook. Yeah, absolutely, absolutely.

Yeah. So a little bit of training helps. And then also some stuff on making it a habit. So then try to encourage teams to use it for at least the next five meetings and use it properly, and incorporate some, you know, sign up. So I usually propose eight habits that they adopt, that will help them make the techniques stick. Because I did find with some teams that didn’t fully commit, especially the team leader didn’t commit, there was a bit of a kind of excitement initially, then it faded away, and they went back to their bad habits, you know, we’ve learned some bad habits, they’re actually some that quite like the bad habits, they quite like that they don’t have to try and meetings, they can back off, they can leave the pressure on the team leader, they can multitask. I think you have to win everybody over and really commit to doing this, you know, and doing it well. 

 Ian Hogg  

And it’s been a constant theme of this podcast of people that are trying to introduce change in organisations. It’s whilst the consultant is they’re implementing it, everybody takes it on. And then the real challenge is making it stick. And it sounds like this. This is a chat use challenge you see as well.

Paul Hills  

Absolutely, absolutely, because there are benefits to bad meetings for some people, certainly not for team leaders, team leaders definitely want to make the change. They’re the ones who often feel the most pressure because they’re frustrated that they’re having to do more work to carry the meeting. They’re frustrated that the meetings aren’t inclusive enough. And they feel they’re not getting enough diversity. Again, they’re not benefiting from the diversity of their team, because not everyone’s contributing. So team leaders are debt key, but they have to have everyone on board and wanting to go with it. 

Ian Hogg  

And if I like what I’m hearing, if I’m one of them, you know, one of our listeners likes what they’re hearing, and wants to take this further or trying to introduce you to their organisation, where would you recommend they start?

Paul Hills  

 So on a very simple level, you can just start by introducing some of this on your own, you don’t need me or someone else to help, you can just give it a go you as you said, you can start using the thumbs up, and try using the passing. If a team wants some help, then there are two ways that I could help them one would be by involving them in our next phase of experimentation, where we could give them some training at no cost in return for their participation in the research, I’m doing that with a number of teams. The other way would be for me to help them on a consultancy basis with some initial training and working out how to embed it in their team. With some organisations, clearly, the agenda is going a bit wider, which is yeah, there’s not just one team here. But we’ve got a culture of bad meetings, you know, we reckon we’ve done the maths, we recognise that we’re spending a third to a half of our time in meetings, the meetings aren’t very good.

They’re unproductive, they’re not good for wellbeing. And we also have some skills issues around agenda-setting and you know, other stuff that helps a meeting not be good anyway, let alone the zoom factor. So with some organisations, I’m working on a kind of bigger picture, which is how do we actually save quite a bit of resources and money and also make a significant improvement to inclusivity productivity and wellbeing by a fundamental culture shift in meetings. Now, obviously, that’s a bigger change exercise. But I would suggest organisations look at that because if they do some simple back of the envelope maths, they will realise how much time is involved in meetings. And if you could improve meetings by 10% 15%, that’s a big gain. That’s either a big cost-saving or a big improvement in productivity, you know, and creativity. 

Ian Hogg  

Yeah, I agree. I think, yeah, I think we’re all enough. We’ve all done our own experiment of one over the last two years about how many meetings you’ve been in, and I think some of them go in that we don’t come out with outcomes, you know,  then not a lot is achieved, you know, those needs to be cut out, you know, or replaced with meetings that are productive. Yeah. Listen, we could go on all day, Paul, and I, you know, particularly practising these techniques, we could go through those again. But I think we will let people rewind and watch that bit of the video on YouTube and watch my acting skills in full flow. But before we go on, before we leave the conversation, there’s a question I ask everybody that comes on the podcast and that’s what book or media is giving you most integration at the moment and why?

Paul Hills  

Okay, when I enjoyed being asked that question, I know at first I wasn’t sure then I remembered that the book I’ve read this year which my wife bought me last Christmas was called ‘Rewild Yourself’ by Simon Barnes. And it was lovely to read. And it was all about connecting more with nature and which I thought he did quite a lot of but a whole load of really nice ideas in here that’s got me more interested in bird noises and types of butterflies and exploring more stuff when I’m out on a walk. And also has got my wife more interested in going on canoe trips with me, which is fantastic. So I’ve been looking to get her more on the water as well. And we’ve discovered open  boat canoes this year, which has been brilliant.

Interested in being on our podcast?

Please get in touch with us on info@fastpaye.com

Listen On

Latest Episodes

Episode 25 – Season 2

Julie Winkle Giulioni, Author and Leadership Speaker | The alternative to promotion and why it could improve wellbeing at work

read more

Interested in being on our podcast?

Please get in touch with us on info@fastpaye.com

Listen On

       

Loading...