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The Psychology of Conference Rooms

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Recently our Sales Manager of Northern Alberta, Aaron Saunter, attended a sales meeting where they discussed the psychology of conference rooms. He was excited to share this information and educate others about this topic.

Does Where you Sit in a Meeting Matter?

Depending on your seating position at the boardroom table, you will play a different role and have varying perspectives of the meeting. Head of the table:
  • Position of power
  • The employee with the highest social ranking
  • An ideal seat for negotiation
  • The person sitting here is leading the discussion
  • Boardroom tables come in all different sizes and shapes. Therefore, there isn’t always a clear head of the table. When this happens, the middle seats on each side can substitute as the power seats. The seat that has the best view of the door is ultimately the most powerful.
The seat directly across from head of the table:
  • This position is perfect for anyone who needs to be seen and heard often during the meeting
  • If you have opposing views or need to negotiate with the person of power, this is the best spot to sit
  • Sitting across from the person with power creates an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ dynamic
Adjacent seats:
  • Directly to the right and left of the power seats
  • These seats have high visibility and are reserved for the main supporters of the power seat
Neutral seats:
  • These are the seats between the two adjacent seats
  • This is a good seat if you want to be active in the conversation but not participate the entire time
Sideline seats:
  • These seats are ideal if you want to listen and not contribute to the meeting
  • Sitting here allows you to leave discreetly and observe
One-on-one meetings
  • In one-on-one meetings, it’s best to sit either beside the other person, or at the corner where you can face them and engage more. These positions are less confrontational and more comfortable for both people involved in the meeting
Lunch meetings
  • Lunch meetings are generally causal and should be held at a circular table. Circular tables promote engagement and friendliness. This shape also encourages people to sit close to each other and feel comfortable.

How to Choose the Best Seat and Table for You

When choosing a boardroom table, it’s important to consider the types of meetings that your company holds, and the team dynamic amongst employees. A boardroom table with a clear head of the table ensures the person leading the meeting is recognized and listened to. Contrastingly, a circle table provides feeling of equality and inclusitivioty amongst all employees. When selecting a seat at the boardroom table, consider your role in the meeting. Proximity matters, therefore, you should sit closest to the people that you want to hear you. If you don’t need to participate in the meeting, sideline seats are a good selection.

Source Staff Favourites – Conference Room Chairs

The Nova mid back or high back chair is a conference room chair staff favourite. It has a clean modern design with sleek lines and it’s size is ideal for any size of conference room table. This chair would be best for collaborative team meetings or any meeting with a presentation. The Saratoga mid back and high back chair is another popular option. It also has a modern look, but with more padding and an executive style look. This chair would be perfect for negotiation meetings. For smaller multi-purpose rooms, the CoolMesh nesting chairs would be a great choice. If you need a new table and chairs for your boardroom, our space planning experts can help you find the perfect fit. Request a consultation online today, or visit your local Source store to learn more.  

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