Lesson notes, exercises, downloads, and recommended reading are below the video. On mobile, the video will rescale when you play it.

Power in the Meeting Room: Psychology of Seating Positions

Do you understand the impact of seating positions on power in the meeting room? If you don’t, this video explains the Psychology of Seating Positions.

And don’t worry if your meeting table is long and oblong, oval, or circular. Whichever it is, we have all the seating positions covered. I’ll explain the psychology of where people sit and the power those positions give, from first principles. You’ll learn where:

– the power players sit (the Apex Player)
– their supporters sit
– the antagonists and their supporters sit
– other, general contributors, sit, and
– the supporting players sit

Watching this Video is worth 2 Management Courses CPD Points*.
(See below for more details)

This video is part of course module number 2.3.1
Program 2: The Manager as Communicator
Course 3: Meetings
Section 1: Attending Meetings

Other Useful Meeting Skills videos include:
– Preparing to Attend a Meeting https://youtu.be/W8caX5tPFLA
– Making an Effective Contribution https://youtu.be/VPhN3R4kOlY
– Structured Response Formats https://youtu.be/SB23yRpGFkE
– Project Presence and Authority https://youtu.be/OPcWMPSA02Y
– Using a Flip Chart https://youtu.be/6Nx9Rqgo_Bs
– Using Projector and Slides Effectively https://youtu.be/fgrD7yTCMcU
– Seating Psychology in One-on-One Meetings https://youtu.be/bh_R7z8uquA

The five power positions around a meeting table, that each have different levels of power in the meeting room are dictated by some simple psychology. There are five basic seating positions:
1. The Power position – where the Apex Player sits
2. The Primary and Secondary positions, where the Apex Player’s main supporters sit
3. The Tertiary positions where the bulk of the contributors sit
4. The Antagonist Positon where the people who oppose the Apex Player sit
5. The Supporting positions, where ‘non-playing’ attendees sit

1. Think about where different people sit in each of the regular meetings you attend. What does your experience plus the content of this video tell you about the power dynamic? Are there any surprises? (2 MC CPD Points)
2. For your next two meetings, prepare by thinking about where you want to sit. Make a choice that will allow you to best play the part you choose to play. (2×1 MC CPD Points)
3. After each of those two meetings, reflect on the impact your seating position had. And did you choose somewhere new? If so, what impact did it have on other people’s positions? (2×1 MC CPD Points)

Free Resources
– CPD Tools – https://gum.co/MC-CPD
Paid resources
– Management Courses Onboarding Kit – https://gum.co/MC-ObK ($3)

– How to Speak so People Listen https://geni.us/HSPL

Watch a load of TED talks to see how different people do it, at https://ted.com

Management Courses Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Points
You can record your Management Courses CPD points on our free, downloadable CPD record log.
Download it here: https://gum.co/MC-CPD

Each video has two levels of MC CPD points. For this video:
– If you simply watched the video, record 2 MC CPD points
– If you also carried out all of the recommended exercises, score a total of 8 MC CPD points

Links to our book recommendations are affiliated through Amazon


Seating Psychology in One-on-One Meetings
Four Special Meeting Types and How to Run Them
Facilitated Meetings: How to Run a Facilitated Meeting
How to Chair Creative Meetings: Tools and Techniques
Chairing Meetings – How to Prevent Group Think
Chairing Meetings – What to Do when Your Meeting Goes Wrong
Chairing Meetings – How to Deal with Challenging Participants
Chairing Meetings – How to Facilitate with Authority
Chairing Meetings – Setting Ground Rules
Chairing Meetings – How to Reduce Meeting Cost
Attending Meetings – Using Flipchart Effectively
Attending Meetings – Using Projector and Slides Effectively
Attending Meetings – Project Presence and Authority
Attending Meetings – Reduce Wasted Meeting Time
Chairing Meetings – Meeting Minutes and Follow-up
Chairing Meetings – How to Close Your Meeting
Chairing Meetings – Managing the Meeting
Chairing Meetings – Housekeeping for your Meeting
Chairing Meetings – Hosting the Meeting
Chairing Meetings – Meeting Discipline
Chairing Meetings – Meetings as Conversations
Chairing Meetings – Planning Your Meeting
Attending Meetings – Structured Response Formats
Attending Meetings – Making an Effective Meeting Contribution
Attending Meetings – Networking and Relationship Building
Attending Meetings – Preparing to Attend a Meeting
Attending Meetings – Are they the Best Use of Your Time?

Mike Clayton

About Mike Clayton 

Dr Mike Clayton is a (former) Project Manager and now a management educator. Having trained thousands of people at live workshops, seminars, and conferences, he now delivers training mainly via video. He has 14 books with international publishers and runs two successful YouTube channels. He is also the founder of OnlinePMCourses.com

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