Not sure where I learned this originally, but it’s a great, simple strategy for business meetings where you’re voicing a position contrary to someone else’s: never sit across from them.

Try sitting next to, or at least on the same side of the table as, whoever might be an adversary. The arrangement makes it so much harder to employ confrontational body language. Instead, you’re likely forced to discuss your differences strategically rather than posturing about them.

And while we’re at it, here’s one more strategy for arranging seating: if there are going to be two or more distinct “teams” represented in a meeting, consciously keep them from sitting in groups. Forcing group members to intermingle helps break up confrontational group body language.

These two strategies may sound silly, but I’ve seen them work too many times to not try and carry them out in every situation where they’re appropriate.

So come sit over here by me! – Mike Brown

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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3 Responses to “Musical Chairs – A Seating Strategy”

  1. Henie says:


    What an ingenius insight! Thank you! While I knew this innately, it sure is nice to get confirmation from someone like YOU! I so appreciate you!

  2. AbhinavatST says:

    Definitely! I love emotional intelligence tips like these that don't require much, but can go a long way in helping achieve goals.

  3. Mike Brown says:

    Thank you both for the comments!

    I'll have to think back through some more ideas like this to post, i.e. things others have shared along the way that are pretty quick ideas to implement.

    After a while, they become such a part of daily life, it can be challenging to think about a time before you know them!