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Just like when you were at school, choosing a wrong seat at work can put you in an unfavourable position. In the workplace, sitting in the wrong place could hinder negotiations and even mar your professional image. You can say that spaces in business is a key in doing good deals, networking, and climbing ladder to success.

In professional settings, however, there might be some confusion on where to sit in order to achieve goals of meetings. For example, if you sit too close with potential business partners, you can be considered as a defiant and ambitious individual who does not understand the idea of ‘personal space.’ Meanwhile, when you sit too far from them, people might think you are unfriendly and unwilling to collaborate.

What should you do, then? Of course, you should sit ‘just right’ and people will see you are worth their trust, time, and investment. In other words, sitting in the right position can give you a good feeling about how you interact with colleagues, potential employers, or other attendees.

So, to look professional and to get full attention, here are some tips from Seats and Stools on how you should place yourself in the crowd.

When doing interview

On one on one interview

You have dressed nicely and studied all the company’s background to look professional and to make employer falls in love with you. While the recruiter might have recognised and expected your coming, you still need to introduce yourself. After that, it is time to find a seat where you can confidently talk to your recruiter. There might be several seats available in the room, but  you should sit at the opposite of the interviewer. You should also wait to be asked to sit. Your body should be sit up straight, and adjust your chair to be at eye level with the interviewer.

On group interview

Different from 1-to-1 interview, when meeting several employers, you can sit across from the group of interviewers. First you should introduce yourself with your full name to everyone on the panel because they might have no idea which one they interview. You should also make eye contact with the group, flash off genuine smiles, and show enthusiasm.

When doing brainstorming session

Being a professional in brainstorming session does not mean you should invite an expert. By not inviting executives or managers, you can cook the best original ideas to impress your boss. It also helps everyone contribute their best acts.

Therefore, you should keep your group small for more spontaneous and separate strong personalities by distance for the most collaborative environment. As good as possible, when doing an informal discussion, try to avoid sitting on the table.

When doing presentation

Engaging everyone in a discussion can be a challenging task. To help you deal with that, you should arrange seats in form of theatre style (semicircle). There will be rows facing speaker in semi-circular pattern or herringbone pattern for maximum view.

If you are a single presenter, you should be in front (on the stage) to get fewer distraction and more audience attention.

If you are presenting with a partner, both of you should sit on stage until it is your turn to speak.

If you are a co-presenter, you can stand or sit at the side of stage or room for minimising disrupt flow.

If you are one of panel speaker presentation, you should sit on stage at a conference table, and moderator will be at the end of table and to the side.

If you are an attendee, choose a seat in the front centre and you will get the best view from both, presenter and presentation.

Likewise, whichever you are, you should rehearse your lines or presentation before the acts to ensure a smooth transition.

Sales meeting presentation can be done in small tables in ‘banquet style’. It will help foster communication and keep attention of attendees.

When doing business lunch

It will be better to reserve a table or a meeting room. However, if you want a different view, you can choose 4-top table in a quiet area of a restaurant with minimal noise and distraction. You should seat next to one another on the corner of the table rather than across. It will allow you to get more intimate conversation. When your client arrives, subtly direct him or her to the chair next to you by gesturing.

Read also: 7 Tech Jobs with the Highest Salary

The presence of well-connected networks, availability of Internet on Smartphones has made it possible to stay connected anywhere on the move. This advantage, does come with its share of drawbacks to impact personal and professional lives at a point in time.

Now you can also connect with managers and supervisors at home or vice-versa connect with family and kids when at work. This has in turn, made it extremely difficult to draw a work-life balance and keep personal-professional lives separate. While we all intend to do so, somewhere you do notice a blending of both – that doesn’t facilitate productive time away from work or even at work.

The two seem to collide and cross path with each other at every other occasion. In an era where technology has greatly impacted our work-life patterns, you need a strategy to set clear line of demarcation to keep the two realms of your life distinctively apart.

Due to work demands and tight deadlines, many people continue to place emphasis on work over personal life. This is not a good practice as it causes both mental and physical stress due to imbalance between work and life. Separating the two is very crucial to ensure that your body gets enough rest to meet personal and professional life challenges.

While this might sound highly impossible, here are several ways you can make efforts to keep personal and professional life separate:

  • Maintain time discipline

Professionalism could mean anything, and unfortunately, staying at the office until midnight does not count on that. Rather, all you need to do is follow the main rule by coming to work on time and leaving work on time. If your work hours starts at 9, try to arrive 10-15 minutes earlier so that you still have time to prepare yourself before focusing on work.

When your work hours end, avoid lingering around in your cubicle to complete the ongoing tasks. Unless they are very urgent, you can always come back tomorrow to finish them.

  • Overcome procrastination at work

If you are the type who could get easily distracted, then it could make you procrastinate the job, it is time you change the bad habit. Find out what distracts you and try to minimise it as much as possible when you are working. This way, you can use your work time efficiently and more productively.

  • Create different social media accounts

In the present day, social media is no longer used for personal purposes and entertainment alone. Major companies are now using social media to network and drive engagement through relationships with customers, employees, and potential talent.

However, you are not advised to blend personal and professional information in one social media account. It will be better if you could use two separate accounts for work and private purposes.

For example, it would be more convenient to log in Facebook and connect with family, relatives and best friends. While for business connections, you can always use LinkedIn to stay in touch with colleagues and business partners.

  • Find activities outside work

Do not make your job as the only identity to define your personality. As a way to refresh your mind from the daily work fatigue, you need to do something different from what you have always done in the office. Find a new hobby which has nothing to do with your job role, such as gardening, photography or cooking. Once in a while, you might also need to take some time off to travel, have vacations, or simply hang out with non-work friends.

  • Keep personal issues at home and professional issues at work only

Just like how you have to leave all work affairs when you are at home, conversely you also have to leave all personal affairs when you get back in the office. Whether it is a problem with your partner, children, or parents, you should be able to put them aside for a while and shift your sole focus to the project you are working on and execute tasks on time, without procrastination.

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