I was recently on a call when a colleague and friend, Jenny Tarwater mentioned “if we were in person, we would just set up as pac man”. I was lost. Pac man? So true to my nature, I interrupted our conversation and asked what she meant.
Essentially, if you are sitting at a table with a group of people. You sit in the formation of pac man head, and always leave a space (or pac man mouth) open. Why? Because this is more inviting for others to join. The minute she said that, yep, I got it. When people are in a circle, trying to approach a table or group with no space, is difficult. If there is space already present, then the invitation is not only visible but makes the approach easier.
I honestly don’t know if this is hers or what the root source of this. I wanted to share primarily because at that moment, I had to make a confession. Not only do I just approach tables with little hesitation – just ask my friend Paul Goddard that was doing a podcast and I interrupted it without noticing a mic was in between them at the table. Ok, I can accept that’s my personality. What I needed to acknowledge was that I gave zero consideration to this for others. I always would expand tables or bring more chairs but never making sure there was always a spot pre-available. Clearly, this makes someone less uncomfortable than waiting as we move all of the tables, etc. Yet, I always did it reactively welcoming not proactively.
So obvious and I completely never considered it. DOH!!! I hope by the time this is released I’m able to be in person with people again…I promised I will be thinking pac man every time!
What are your ways to proactively invite collaboration/engagement?