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?

Tricia Broderick

Tricia Broderick

Tricia Broderick is a leadership and organizational advisor. Her transformational leadership at all levels of an organization, ignites growth of leaders and high performing teams to deliver quality outcomes. Tricia has more than twenty years of experience in the software development industry. She is a highly-rated trainer, coach, facilitator and motivational keynote speaker. Beyond her extensive knowledge and skills, her biggest offering is inspiring people to believe anything is possible.

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