We take a look at how business leaders can use custom conference tables to influence the decision-making process during face-to-face meetings with employees and clients.
In a world where opinions and (mis)information can spin out of control, what can be done to regain trust and take back control of the decision-making process? The answer is to get people together IRL (in real life). It’s time to set aside the instant messaging chat software for a moment and get back into the habit of meeting face-to-face with your employees and customers across an old school solid wood conference table.
Getting to Yes: Custom Conference Tables Give You a Psychological Advantage
When you need to get to “yes” in a meeting, there is nothing like meeting face-to-face. But there is more to the story. As you may have heard, there’s also quite a bit of theory about the psychological aspects of conference table layouts and seating arrangements, and the effect they can have on influencing meetings.
For example, installing one or more impressive custom conference tables can make a lasting, positive impression on your colleagues and visitors (even an intimidating one — if that’s your thing) as part of your overall branding program.
Different office conference table shapes can affect the unspoken power dynamic around the conference table. Awareness of this insight can help you influence meeting outcomes.
Let’s use our new collection of five different Revolution™ conference tables to illustrate the point.
If Your Goal is to Make a Decision at a Pitch Presentation…
The new Revolution CIII trapezoid-shaped conference table is ideal for making presentations to a group of key decision-makers. The unique trapezoidal design is wider at the far end; this allows participants to view a live presentation or video screen without having to lean forward to try to get a clear view. From a psychological perspective, the trapezoidal table format helps reinforce the power hierarchy: the senior manager will sit in the “power position” at the opposite end of the table from the presenter.
The New Revolution CII trapezoidal conference table is ideal for making presentations to a group, thanks to its unique shape. Shown here is the custom version we built for display at the NeoCon 2017 contract furniture show.
Like all the office furniture in our Revolution collection, we can customize conference tables to fit your exact needs. For example, at the NeoCon 2017 contract furniture show, we’ll be exhibiting a custom, height-adjustable trapezoidal solid wood conference table made of walnut, tricked out with a hidden console under the surface that rises to reveal an LED illuminated control panel with built-in Bluetooth controls, HDMI video connections, USB ports and power supply connections.
If You Need to Collaborate During Face-to-Face Meetings with Employees…
When you need to encourage participation, round and elliptical tables are an excellent choice because they put participants at ease by giving each person an equal place at the table.
To maintain a collaborative atmosphere, avoid taking a leadership ‘command and control’ stance by moving your chair back or removing chairs to your right or left. This will send an intimidation signal that can undermine the goal of your meeting.
If you want to get honest, collaborative input, round tables like our new Revolution C1 (shown above) are perfect for 4 – 5 participants. These tables have a central cone-shaped support column which provides a stylish touch and offers more legroom.
When it’s Time to Make Some Important Decisions…
If round and elliptical tables are designed for collaboration and collecting input, then long rectangular tables (and the rounded corner variant known as ‘racetrack’ conference tables) are the best choices when it’s crunch time, and you need to come to a decision.
Why is this? Long rectangular tables help reinforce management hierarchy.* When the group leader sits at one end of a long office conference table, he or she is establishing a psychological presence that reinforces a position of power. The person seated at the opposite end of the table typically sits in an opposing ‘judgment role.’
As Machiavellian as this may sound, it’s often the right recipe for making crisp, clear decisions on topics ranging from product scheduling issues to budget requests and contract approvals.
* Large rectangular conference tables make a good fit for the larger conference rooms. To maintain order during formal meetings, it’s best to specify a table that’s at least 4-foot across to reduce the tendency of participants to lose focus by interacting with those seated directly across from them. On the other hand, if you want more social interaction, such as in an employee lounge setting, it’s useful to specify a narrower table.
The long rectangle format Revolution CV conference table is ideal for making decisions. Like the entire Revolution collection, Revolution CV solid wood conference tables are available in your choice of oak, maple or walnut.
Depending on the design of your conference room, you may prefer to choose the rounded corners of a ‘racetrack’ shaped conference table. From a psychological perspective, this design literally ‘takes a little edge off’ the power dynamic associated with a traditional rectangular conference table. Those seated at the corners of a rounded racetrack style table will feel more included.
A variant of traditional rectangular conference table, the “racetrack” design of the Revolution CIV has comfortable, rounded corners. It’s available in different sizes to fit your conference room requirements.
When it’s Time to Have a Little Fun at the Office…
Sometimes you just want to have a little fun at the office. How about a set of conference tables that convert into ping pong table so you can let off a little steam during the workday?
As part of the launch of our new Revolution collection at the NeoCon 2017 contract furniture show in Chicago, we’re exhibiting a stunning, custom-made executive ping pong table made of solid African Mahogany hardwood — with matching hardwood ping pong paddles. The ping pong net itself is crafted from an industrial perforated metal material. As a bonus, the entire table can be detached to form two height-adjustable conference tables when needed.
At Formaspace, Every Detail Matters
Here at Formaspace, we take office furniture design seriously.
We custom build each piece of office furniture we sell right here in our modern factory headquarters in Austin, Texas.
We invite you to learn more about our newest collection — the Revolution furniture series — designed for today’s modern, open offices.
This new portfolio of office furniture features a coordinated system of mix-and-match components, all designed to work together to create a full range of worksetting solutions — including individual private workstation areas, flexible and informal touch-down spaces, collaborative open desking and benching environments, employee break rooms, and cafeterias, and executive conference rooms kitted out with our unique industrial conference tables.
To learn more about the Revolution collection, please fill out the contact form below.