Posts Tagged ‘MUY 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.

Mix Up Your Meetings – part 1 (Darkness)


Your meetings are boring, painful, and woefully dreaded.


Create excited anticipation for the meetings you organize by mixing them up with a creative twist.  Do something completely unexpected and off-the-wall so that they are fun and memorable, or at least eagerly anticipated because people don’t know what you’re going to pull next.

Since I could probably start a whole separate blog on unique meeting ideas, I’m not going to burn them all in one post, so I’ll just share one at a time as part of a ‘Mix Up Your Meeting’ series.  Plus, I know you’ve done some crazy things too, so share them with me and you can write your own ‘MUY Meeting’ post.

Here’s my first idea (and they are in no particular order.)

Start your meeting in the dark.

This only works in a room with no windows that you can get dark enough to be uncomfortable.  Be aware of safety issues, help them get to their seat without tripping, or wait until everyone is seated before turning out the lights.

The idea is to turn off one of the senses so they can focus on something else.  Let them just listen to your voice for a little while so they can really pay attention to what you are saying.  Or use an analogy for darkness that relates to whatever you’re meeting about.  Maybe you’re ‘in the dark’ regarding a particular problem you’re facing and you need everyone’s participation to help ‘shed some light’ on the subject.

After a while you could start showing images or words on the screen using a standard projector, or you could gradually turn on the lights as you are more ‘enlightened’ by the group discussion.

Or you could keep the whole meeting in the dark. I don’t care. Use your creativity.  The point is to use the contrast of darkness and light to bring home a point or to provide a sensory experience that is unique in the workplace (and maybe for good reason, so don’t stay too long in the dark or make it a habit, you don’t want any danger or funny business going on.)

What do you think?  Are you bold enough to try it?

You’ll be remarkable. 

People will remark about you and your meeting for sure.