Equal Speaking Time in Meetings is Correlated with Higher Team Performance

11/10/2022

Ensuring equal speaking time in meetings is crucial for achieving higher team performance. A study by MIT and Sandy Pentland found that teams with balanced participation tend to be more effective and creative in their problem-solving (Pentland, 2014).

The study found that teams with balanced participation were more likely to generate a diverse range of ideas and perspectives, leading to more creative and effective solutions. In contrast, teams with unbalanced participation tended to have less diverse ideas and were more likely to make suboptimal decisions.

Furthermore, the study found that teams with balanced participation were more likely to have high levels of psychological safety, which is the "belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes" (Edmondson, 2019). When individuals feel safe to speak up and share their thoughts, they are more likely to contribute their unique perspectives and experiences, leading to more effective and creative problem-solving.

To promote equal speaking time in meetings, leaders can implement a variety of strategies. For example, they can establish ground rules for meetings that include giving everyone the opportunity to speak and providing support for those who may be hesitant to speak up (Kearney, 2018). They can also use specific facilitation techniques, such as "go-around" or "round robin" discussions, to ensure that everyone has a chance to share their thoughts (McLeod, 2018). Meeting facilitators should install Equal Time for Google Meet, or Equal Time for Zoom to run more effective and inclusive meetings easily.

In conclusion, ensuring equal speaking time in meetings is correlated with higher team performance. By implementing strategies to support all team members' contributions, leaders can foster a more inclusive and engaging work environment, leading to better outcomes for all.

References:

Edmondson, A. (2019). Psychological Safety: The Key to Unlocking Innovation and Performance. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2019/08/psychological-safety-the-key-to-unlocking-innovation-and-performance

Kearney, E. (2018). The Importance of Equal Speaking Time in Meetings. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2018/06/the-importance-of-equal-speaking-time-in-meetings

McLeod, S. (2018). Facilitation Techniques for Inclusive Meetings. Training Industry. https://www.trainingindustry.com/articles/leadership/facilitation-techniques-for-inclusive-meetings/

Pentland, A. (2014). Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread - The Lessons from a New Science. Penguin. https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/111/1112120/social-physics/9780143124551.html