Pull Up a Chair – Seating Strategies

Musical Chairs“All around the mulberry bush the monkey chased the weasel…”

Cue second grade: You marched to the music, round and round the circle, strategically eyeing your classmates and waiting for your teacher to raise the record player’s needle (those born after 1985).

The music stopped. You scrambled for a chair — any chair — to stay in the game.

That was then, but I bet you didn’t realize that childhood game was teaching you a valuable skill. When you think about it, we spend a considerable portion of our adult lives seated in circles:

  • Enjoying a family meal around the dinner table
  • Closing a business deal in a board room
  • Networking at a conference “round table”
  • Going out after work with colleagues and friends
  • Listening and learning together in church small groups
  • Feigning interest in weekly staff meetings
  • Engaging donor prospects at fundraising banquets

In his March 2013 Life Hacker article, Adam Dachis has tapped into our primal, musical chair instincts. He has cleverly illustrated how to choose an optimal seating strategy, in any configuration, that will allow you to fully participate in conversation, thus keeping you in the game.

Note: the infographic has one graphic word of its own that some readers may not appreciate.

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