Good Meeting Spaces have...

What are the characteristics of a meeting space that fosters collaboration, connection and productivity?

Seating and Layout

How participants are seated around the room can have an impact on how successful the meeting is and how people contribute. Allowing people to feel like they have their own space in the room can mirror their feelings about contributions. In therapy, it is often said that the therapist “holds” feelings for people who struggle to contain them all themselves. The therapist serves as a container for the disclosures of people in the room and the space this happens in is important.

Some of the most difficult meetings you have ever been in might be ones where you share news that might not be welcome to the other party or there is an impasse about what is to happen next. Are we reflecting on the negative feelings that can arise in meetings before they happen? We don’t have a crystal ball, nor can we become mired down by the inability to make everyone happy, but we can display empathy through the space we provide for people’s challenges.

One question that may be taken for granted in school meetings with families, deserves attention.

Do attendees feel safe? Not do they feel in danger for their physical selves, but do they feel safe enough to share their thoughts, feelings, hopes and wishes?

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