Posts Tagged ‘group meetings’

Mix Up Your Meetings – part 4 (rearrange room)


Not every one participates in your meetings.  People get comfortable in their favorite seats.  Your group needs a change.


Rearrange the chairs in your meeting room.  There’s probably that guy who always sits in the back so he can get away with not saying anything.  Or there are only the few who are engaged because they sit up front and close together.  Or your current seating arrangement could be just fine, but you still want to shake things up a bit to get people out of their comfort zone, to help them think differently, or to be open to new perspectives and ways of doing things.

Many sources will say that the best unifying, everyone-on-equal-ground type of arrangement would be to put all the chairs in a circle facing inward.  Sure, go ahead and try that if you want to, or can.  But you don’t have to.  You can do two semi-circles, or a big square, or a triangle for that matter.  You could even do two parallel lines facing each other (if you want to start a fight), or one long single file line (choo choo!)  Experiment.  See what happens.

I know there are some rooms that aren’t completely flexible (we have a bunch with a huge, immovable board room type table in the middle. ugh.)   But you can think of something.  The least you could do is talk from the other side of the room.

Seating arrangements can really affect the dynamics of a meeting.  So use that small little freedom to affect the meeting in the way you want. (That’s grootship.)

And instead of trying to convince that guy in the back that he should move up front, just make it so he doesn’t have a choice.

Share Ideas


Your group doesn’t function like you think it should.


At your next group meeting, give a book report on a subject that addresses your particular concern.  It could be something like 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, Radical Leap, Drive, Jamming, Breakthrough Teams, etc.

Sure, you can try to ask your boss to give you some time on the agenda, but if that’s not likely, just wait until the end when they usually say, “Does anyone have anything they’d like to share?”  That’s when you speak up and say, “Yes, I’d like to tell you all about this amazing book I just read.” 

Of course, you’ll have to be brief, but that’s better.  You can even choose to only talk about a specific chapter each week, or if you like to read alot, maybe you talk about a different book each week.

Maybe things won’t change after your first week, or even your 6th week, but over time, I’m sure something will start to happen.  People will talk.  You’ll be known for something.

What type of reputation do you want to have?  Go ahead.  Create it.

What kind of team do you want to have?  Do your part to make it happen.