Where we sit at a table or how we arrange our guests can influence the ability to form bonds and share information. Sometimes arriving to a table early helps, other times we end up at a disadvantage because those we wish to communicate with most end up sitting in locations that make them less accessible. Arriving midway through represents the best case scenario, but if you aren’t aware of the propensity to which people speak to one another, this will give you no advantage at all since you won’t know where to sit.
The most powerful people will almost always prefer to sit facing the entry because it allows them to see first hand who is entering and prevents them from sneaking up from behind. Likewise, we find that sitting on the inside at a restaurant allows us the best vantage because it puts everyone else in front of us and inhibits interruptions from those passing in isles. In this chapter we will learn that it’s best to avoid sitting side by side if possible, especially when trying to form a good impression or when trying to assess someone. Reading people is best done face-to-face but this raises a competitive head to head arrangement, as we shall see. We will also learn that our reasons for meeting will tell us how we should sit because, and what affect seating has on the outcome.
In this chapter we will cover seating arrangements and their effect. We will learn that how we sit indicates our reason for meeting, how rectangular tables and circular tables have trickle down leadership effects, how square tables can set up cooperation or confrontation, how leaders always choose to sit at the head of the table or will lose their status to he who does, and how we can change minds by boxing in our “object” with the right associates. Next we cover how offices should be set up, how artifacts aren’t just for decoration and how high-chairs aren’t for babies. We then learn about where to sit in an auditorium to be completely forgotten and where the keeners sit in class.