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How muting kills engagement

On my mission to improve virtual and hybrid work: Stop MUTING, Start Talking!

Ever asked yourself,
why there is this strange silence
and little participation
in virtual meetings?

Before Covid, when many had little technical skills 😉 we learned that muting our microphones prohibits echo and ugly noises. During Lockdowns, we had the chance to learn, how virtual communication works, how important a good camera and lightening is, that a decent microphone dramatically enhances, how your messages come across.

New Work, Hybrid Work – virtual calls, meetings or conferences will stay. But shouldn’t we re-think our behavior, as one common issue in non-physical meetings is the lack of engagement, missing „vibrant“ discussions and an „natural“ atmosphere?

In our research and experimenting we found one important reason for that – and once this is changed, our virtual meetings became a lot better!

If you start your meeting with this:

it feels a bit like someone welcomes you with „SHUT UP – I don’t want to hear you/don’t disturb me!“ At least it is a clear message, not to actively take part, as there is a big fear of ?

Demanding muted microphones
might cause demotivation

Of course there are reasons for muting everyone, but then it would be recommended to use a „Broadcast“ session, where only the speaker can talk. For meetings, workshops or participative events, I would highly recommend, not to demotivate people by demanding „silence“. In the end, this is what I get – disconnected people in listening mode.

We tried: „PLEASE UNMUTE as default“
in many different meetings, workshops and events
and this is what happened:

(mehr …)