Posts Tagged ‘round table’

The So-Called “Round Table”—The Appearance of Equality Doesn’t Guarantee Equality

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Are you among participants in negotiations where you sit at a “round table?” The “round table” is convened whenever the aim is to discuss something free from the constraints of hierarchy. The seating arrangement at a rectangular table always gives an indication of who is in charge—the individual at the head of the table or in the middle, according to the occasion and the gathering. A round table is supposed to signify that everyone seated there is equally empowered.

But that’s usually not the case. In television broadcasts of political gatherings, have you ever considered, for example, how cameras and national flags are arranged? Have you ever considered where entrances and exits to the room are or who sits next to whom? Of course there’s a hierarchy, even at a round table, and naturally, everyone present knows what it is.

Don’t let yourself be bullied: There are inequalities in every negotiation. If you want to grow, you must be aware of this and use it to your advantage.

 
© 2014, Prof. Dr. Guido Quelle, Mandat Consulting Group, Dortmund, London, New York. All rights reserved.