Have you noticed how most people always take the same seat at the table at your company meetings? Most likely, you don’t have assigned seating your meetings, yet the seat one chooses has a lot to do with their personality. Your physical seat position influences how you’re perceived by everyone else and, to a certain extent, predetermines the role you play in the meeting. Understanding the psychology behind the various positions at a table will help you strategize where to sit at your next meeting.
There are several different personality tests, systems, and theories available to us. In this article, we will be using the B.A.N.K™ system for we believe it is the simplest method to quickly identify another person and use that information to achieve better communication.
B – Blueprint: People in this personality group find value in the organization and following the rules. Their moral beliefs are set in stone, and they prefer to stay around those who share those ethics. They work well with systems that are clear cut, predictable, and have set and defined rules.
Those with more of the blueprint values will tend to be strategic in their seat selection. They often won’t select the power seat, which would be either A or B (see diagram), instead, they prefer to be next to the leader to easily observe the conversations and responses of those in the meeting and easily take notes when necessary. You’ll find when they speak; it is because they have important information to contribute instead of speaking just to be heard. The seating positions which serve them well are either seats C or D; if the leader is in position A, this provides them eye contact with those present and able to get the leader’s attention if necessary.
A – Action: They are typically entrepreneurial in spirit and don’t have a problem taking risks. They value living life on their terms and learn best through hands-on learning. They are optimistic and go-getters and excel at a competition, sales, and bringing teams together
Those dominant in the Action type are so named because they strive to get the most done in any situation and will typically lead the meeting because they are good at it and don’t like to waste time. They choose the power positions of either A or B. In the diagram above, seat A would be their first choice for they have a full view of the room and anyone entering and can easily take control of the meeting. If they are not the intended leader for that meeting, they will select seat B to have the second tier of control to be able to easily add to the meeting and make sure it moves along at a timely pace.
N – Nurture: They are social and enjoy making genuine connections with others. They strive to become the best they can be and find enjoyment in helping bring others to their full potential. They are very passionate and love contributing to their communities
The Nurture types like to be in the middle of the table whenever possible, positions E or F, or the seats next to them. This way they can easily socialize with others, support those in the meeting and easily contribute without being aggressive or dominate with their views. They enjoy being a team player and sitting in the middle of everything best serves them.
K – Knowledge: These people strive to have power over their environment and themselves, always striving to learn more. They’re always attempting to put together the big picture with the long-term goal in mind. They are problem solvers by nature and excel at using charts and models to explain hard to grasp ideas.
These are the intellects of the group. They prefer to listen, observe, and understand all the details of the discussion. They don’t need to see everyone at the table and prefer to remain silent and not called upon unless necessary to answer questions. They tend to be more introverted. They like to sit at seats G and H or those adjacent when the leader is in position A.
At your next meeting, observe where others are seated and use the above information to understand those in attendance better, Of course, these are not hard and fast rules, we are all a combination of all four types, yet when one type is most dominate it will reflect in their seat selection. Depending upon your personal goal of the meeting, you can utilize this information to serve your outcome.
Curious about what your personality code is? Take our free assessment to learn more, and it only takes a few seconds. www.whatsmycode.com
Need more detail about sitting positions? Grab a copy of our book “Sit Your Way to Success” to learn how you can apply even more strategies. www.sityourwaytosuccess.com