GETTING PEOPLE TALKING
AND WORKING TOGETHER
GETTING PEOPLE TALKING AND WORKING TOGETHER
Group meetings can always start a bit tentatively. Perhaps shyness creeps in, or tensions and unfamiliarity are in the air
if it’s a new group.
Sensopry science has uncovered many environmental elements that help break down barriers and get people talking.
One study showed that people are more talkative and socially interact more in a room that smells of fresh flowers. So get a fresh bunch in a vase in the room where your meeting is, and follow these other tips for setting the perfect sensory scene for collaboration.
Round tables encourage openness and social interaction. There is no ‘head’ so everyone is equal.
(King Arthur knew what he was doing).
Soft textures encourage collaboration and generosity.
A famous piece of research got two groups of people to complete a jigsaw each. One of the groups were given a set with a soft material stuck to the back of each piece, while the other group had a set with sand paper on the back. The ‘soft’ group got along and completed the task. The ‘sandpaper’ group argued and took a lot longer.
A little background music wouldn’t go a miss in a situation like this. Make sure it’s low volume and gentle.
The music should be acoustic, or at least not overly digital and electronic, certainly non-polarising in genre (no thrash-metal or industrial techno), and feature bands rather than individuals. Get across the positive feeling of people playing together in harmony, on real live instruments.
Alternatively, the gentle hubbub of chattering voices lifts the sound in the room from silent, making people feel more open to talk. Try the one below; there are more similar sounds on the Sense Soundcloud page.
In the same way every texture your group comes into contact with should be soft, so should the food you serve.
Nothing could be worse that the annoying crunching of crisps when you’re trying to create an atmosphere of collaboration.
Get some marshmallows (they always make people smile too), Or just simple sandwiches or pastries.
If all else fails, then go clubbing together.
When your group of individuals becomes one group among others, some interesting social psychology takes place. You become a tribe among tribes, and social cohesion strengthens (usually).