Getting to Yes: Custom Conference Tables Give You a Psychological Advantage
When you need to get to “yes” in a meeting, there is nothing like meeting face-to-face. But there is more to the story. As you may have heard, there’s also quite a bit of theory about the psychological aspects of conference table layouts and seating arrangements, and the effect they can have on influencing meetings.
For example, installing one or more impressive custom conference tables can make a lasting, positive impression on your colleagues and visitors (even an intimidating one — if that’s your thing) as part of your overall branding program.
Different office conference table shapes can affect the unspoken power dynamic around the conference table. Awareness of this insight can help you influence meeting outcomes.
If You Need to Collaborate During Face-to-Face Meetings with Employees…
When you need to encourage participation, round and elliptical tables are an excellent choice because they put participants at ease by giving each person an equal place at the table.
To maintain a collaborative atmosphere, avoid taking a leadership ‘command and control’ stance by moving your chair back or removing chairs to your right or left. This will send an intimidation signal that can undermine the goal of your meeting.
Large rectangular conference tables make a good fit for the larger conference rooms. To maintain order during formal meetings, it’s best to specify a table that’s at least 4-foot across to reduce the tendency of participants to lose focus by interacting with those seated directly across from them. On the other hand, if you want more social interaction, such as in an employee lounge setting, it’s useful to specify a narrower table.