A few weeks back, I joined yet another online meeting, and something felt instantly different. Smooth music was playing in the background while the host welcomed me to the meeting.
The host was Michael Doyle, and that was the first time I was exposed to that approach of welcoming people in online meetings. I tried to think about what felt different, and it is tough for me to describe—something like a cool down, calm and relaxed atmosphere. The meeting then went very well, and I was delighted with the outcome.
Was it only chance? Was it only about the people involved? I needed to test that in other settings.
I picked a team and a meeting that would be much more challenging, and I played smooth, positive jazz music to open the meeting.
People were surprised. They made a few comments about the music and what it reminded them. If we were not in the middle of a pandemic, the meeting would have probably been in-person, and we would have been in a hotel, so I guess that is why the first thing they mentioned was the elevator, the hotel lobby, and the breakfast lounge. The chit-chat went very smoothly and relaxed. I felt the meeting went very well.
As a result, I decided to play the music again during the breaks. I will do that again!
What about you try that too?
Do you know any research on the topic? I would love to read some!