Before a difficult discussion or an important meeting, it might be helpful to have coffee together first. The best coffee you could have ever had are those brewed and carefully made from the best espresso machine (see https://espressoexpert.net/best-espresso-machine-under-100/). Because, as an experiment shows, the caffeinated drink not only makes you more awake and more positive. It also makes teamwork more constructive and ensures more relevant contributions. Even with conflict-ridden topics, this ensured better collaboration, as the researchers report.
7 Facts About Coffee You Probably Didn’t Know
Coffee is not only one of the most popular hot drinks worldwide but it also appears to be a real health-enhancer. Studies indicate that the caffeinated drink not only wakes you up but also protects against chronic stress, diabetes, and vascular diseases, protects our DNA from damage and even helps our memory to leap forward.
But what about the effects of coffee enjoyment on group behavior? Is it positive if we have a cup of coffee with our colleagues in the morning before a meeting? Vasu Unnava from the University of California at David and his colleagues have now investigated this.
Does coffee influence group behavior?
72 students took part in the first experiment, each of whom was to discuss the current political issue in groups of five. For half an hour, however, half of the students had taken part in a supposed coffee tasting – and thus consumed several cups of coffee. In a second experiment, 31 students were given normal coffee, and 31 others were decaffeinated without knowing it. They were also invited to the group discussion afterward.
Afterward, all participants were interviewed extensively and were asked to rate their own performance and behavior in the discussion, but also that of others. In the second experiment, the researchers also checked how much the participants talked and how well they stayed with the topic. “This is the first time that the impact of coffee enjoyment on teams has been explored,” said co-author Amit Singh of Ohio State University.
More alert and positive
The surprising result: Both the subjective impressions of the team members and their actual speaking behavior were influenced by coffee enjoyment. If they had a cup of normal coffee before the discussion, the participants rated themselves, their colleagues’ behavior and the outcome of the discussion as more positive. At the same time, they described themselves as awake.
“We suspect that people who feel more awake also contribute more or at least feel it and perceive it that way in others,” explains Singh. “This, in turn, gives them a more positive attitude.”
… but also more constructive
The exciting thing, however, was that the participants who had been drinking caffeinated coffee before the discussion not only spoke more overall, their contributions were also more subject-related and constructive. “They talked about more relevant things,” says Singh. The subjects also remained more on the topic than those who had consumed no or only decaffeinated coffee.
Another positive effect: Although the topic – the Occupy movement – was highly controversial and opinions differed widely, the discussion climate among coffee drinkers remained constructive. “Although they discussed more intensively, they were later more willing to work with their teammates again at any time,” says Singh. There could, therefore, be some reasons to start a difficult meeting or an upcoming discussion with a round of coffee for everyone.