I have a story that just might get you thinking.
The chair (pictured on the left) in my office at my day job changed how employees reacted during meetings.
An article in The Psychology of Seating said, “Creating the “right seat” is paradoxically about moving people: to act, collaborate, make a decision, or transition within environments.”
The article goes on to state, “Where and how we sit has a lot to do with our psychological state of mind when interacting with other people.”
About a year ago, the general manager at my office sent an email that he bought a new chair for his desk and it hurt his back.
I waited for my co-workers to reply. They didn’t. No one wanted it. People were scared of looking they had bigshotitis.
Of course, I quietly took the chair to my office.
I noticed the new chair made employees feel uncomfortable, especially the ones who worked with me before the promotion.
I knew I needed to change the seating to make him feel like I wasn’t looking down on him.
I moved the big chair to the other side of my desk and told him to sit there.
We actually debated for a minute! He felt uncomfortable sitting in the nice chair with me in the standard small office staple.
Finally, I insisted and the meeting went really well.
Last week, I did my own little experiment and I can’t stop talking about it.
I asked three men and three women sit in the special chair, then the regular chair on the other side of my desk.
The body language for all of the men was exactly the same.
The women had their own body movements… all the same.
The men instantly leaned back, kicked up their right foot on their left knee.
Click play below to hear the guys react to “The Chair.”
Their shoulders spread out and up. The men also spread out to fill the chair with elbows on the arm rest and hands somewhere near their face, either hands locked or in a fist for a chin rest.
And they smiled… loved it actually.
That didn’t happen when I asked them to move to the small, typical office chair.
The woman started out dainty with elbows to their sides. Their body language wasn’t spread out like the men, but compact.
Then they checked out the comfort of the cushion on the head rest and kicked up their feet on the desk.
What does that mean? I don’t know.
Maybe I should check with a professional therapist or body language expert.
What is obvious to me is that decor, just like what you wear, changes you confidence.
See… decor matters. Ahhhhh.