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Selasa, Mac 27, 2012

Attending meetings can lower your IQ

How often do you attend meetings at your workplace?

If a new research is to be believed, they can make you brain-dead impairing your ability to think for yourself. A team at the Virginia Tech Crilion Research institute in the US found that the performance of people in IQ tests after meetings was significantly lower than those who are left to decide on their own.

And women more likely to perform worse than men, found the study, published in journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

"You may joke about how committee meetings make you feel brain-dead, but our findings suggest that they may make you act brain-dead as well," Read Montague, who led the study, was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

"We started with individuals who were matched for their IQ. Yet when we placed them in small groups, ranked their performance on cognitive tasks against their peers, and broadcast those rankings to them, we saw dramatic drops in the ability of some study subjects to solve problems," Montague said.

"The social feedback had a significant effect." For their study, Montague and colleagues pitted students from two universities with an average IQ of 126 against each other.

They were also told how they were performing in comparison to the others after answering each question.

It was found that most people performed worse when they were ranked against their peers, suggesting social situation itself affected how well they completed the IQ tests.

Women were affected by the situation more clearly than men. Three out of 13 women remained in the high-performing group while ten out of 13 fell into the low performing group. Subsequent MRI scans showed different areas of the brain associated with problem solving, emotion, and reward were activated when carrying out the tasks, the researchers said.

Senior study researcher Kenneth Kishida said: "Our study highlights the unexpected and dramatic consequences even subtle social signals in group settings may have on individual cognitive functioning."

"And, through neuroimaging, we were able to document the very strong neural responses that those social cues can elicit. We don't know how much these effects are present in real-world settings."

"But given the potentially harmful effects of the social status assignments and the correlation with specific neural signals, future research should be devoted to what, exactly, society is selecting for in competitive learning and workplace environments."

"By placing an emphasis on competition, for example, are we missing a large segment of the talent pool?" he asked.

Co-author Steven Quartz, professor of philosophy in the Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, said: "This study tells us the idea that IQ is something we can reliably measure in isolation without considering how it interacts with social context is essentially flawed."

"Furthermore, this suggests that the idea of a division between social and cognitive processing in the brain is really pretty artificial. The two deeply interact with each other."

Sumber:  Daily Telegraph.

Ernie Humphrey (Vice President, Proformative) said:  (Feb 10, 2012)
Every professional has experience in attending meetings that offered little to no return on investment (ROI) for their valuable time. I have often wondered if some of the meetings I have attended in the past have actually lowered my IQ. A recent study by the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute has actually shown that meetings can lower the IQ of meeting attendees. The compelling survey results have inspired me to put together a list of meeting best practices. I am hoping that others will weigh in with their thoughts and that we can collaborate to put together a useful reference tool, and if nothing else, maybe somthing to look at for inspiration before you call your next meeting
In terms of meeting best practices I would offer the following:
  • Have an Agenda – an unstructured meeting creates an inherent barrier to productivity
  • Invite only those who need to attend- make sure that you have a reason for inviting each meeting attendee
  • Communicate to those you are inviting why they are invited- attendees need to have an incentive to listen and engage in the meeting
  • Control you meeting- do not let your meeting get too far off topic or let an attendee take over your meeting
  • Demand attention- if the meeting is an in-person gathering then do not allow any type of smart phones, iPads, etc. If you someone sneaks one in then take it or remove them from the meeting. If it is a remote meeting and you are sharing a presentation see if you can use a tool that will monitor if they are viewing your screen (applications such as GoToMeeting offer this functionality.)
  • Create specific action items from the meeting- define specific action items that result from the meeting. This clearly communicates the output from the meeting and why you called the meeting
  • Manage your meeting reputation- following the best practices above your colleagues will know that when you call a meeting you mean business and it will be a productive use of their time. They may even enjoy your meeting and they will make your meetings more productive. You should also elicit feedback from your meetings to show that you care about the attendees’ time and want to improve as a meeting facilitator.

This is not a short list, but think back to an unproductive meeting you have attended in the past, if the meeting leader had just adhered to a few of the aforementioned best practices how much more productive would that meeting have been for you?

I look forward to input from the community so we can create a useful tool to mitigate the risk of unproductive meetings and the lowering the IQs of meeting attendees.

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