Silver linings, home tours, video conference bingo: Reimagining virtual meetings for connection

April 29, 2020

Center for Positive Organizations (CPO) faculty affiliate Adam Grant interviews CPO co-founder Jane Dutton in the TED article “The secret to making Zoom meetings meaningful for you and your coworkers.”

The interview explores how virtual meetings can be reimagined in the pandemic age to encourage high-quality connections. Dutton defines a “high-quality connection” as, “a shorter-term interaction you have with someone virtually or face to face, in which both people feel lit up and energized by the connection.”

Dutton encourages teams to try creative conversation prompts, experiment with playful activities and get comfortable blurring the boundary between home and work life. Dutton cites research by CPO faculty affiliate Ashley Hardin that demonstrates shared personal knowledge has a humanizing affect.

“There’s this idea that we need to put on our professional masks and we don’t want to blur the boundary between the professional and the personal, but her research suggests there’s not a lot of downside to letting people know more about you,” Dutton says.

Dutton is a CPO core faculty member and the Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Emerita Professor of Business Administration and Psychology at the University of Michigan.