Meetings

Daily Buzz: How Nonverbal Cues Can Create a Positive Meeting Environment

By / Jul 17, 2019 (Cecilie_Arcurs/E+/Getty Images Plus)

Smile your way to a more memorable conference experience. Also: why employees don’t understand their benefits.

If you’ve ever been in a room of giggling people, you know that laughter and smiles are contagious. At meetings, the same rule applies: When authentic joy is felt, it spreads.

Why?

Vanessa Van Edwards, a behavioral investigator and author of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People, told Smart Meetings that people are continually reading others’ nonverbal cues to determine whether they are friends or foes.

So, the easiest way to communicate your conference’s message or goals might not be to say it, but rather to show it in your actions. Smile more, make eye contact, stand up straight—all of these tell attendees that you’re enjoying the event and attentive to what’s going on around you.

Besides body language, taking extra strides to make meetings memorable can also stir positivity among attendees. Banishing predictable interactions—the ever-looming “What do you do?” or “Where are you from?” questions, for example—can create more meaningful conversations. Try “What exciting projects are you working on?” or “What good thing happened today?” to avoid stock answers.

Know Your Benefits

Do you understand your benefits? If the answer is no, you’re not alone. Data shows that up to 80 percent of companies reported that employees don’t read or open their benefit materials.

The reason? Benefits are complicated and often aren’t top of mind, says Chris Renz on Forbes.

“Understanding the barriers that prevent employees from using the benefits is a crucial first step in adjusting and redesigning employee benefits programs,” he says. “By embracing simplicity by design and streamlining employee experience, companies can create benefit programs that truly matter to employees, and are both easy to understand and use.”

Other Links of Note

Can’t work from home? CMSWire offers other creative working space ideas outside of the office.

An underrated way to minimize workload stress: asking for an extension, according to nonprofit thought leader Beth Kanter.

Pride Month might be over, but the need for safe spaces in the workplace is not, says Quartz at Work.

Sophia Conforti

Sophia Conforti is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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