I sit in the same chair every day, for a good part of the day. It gives me a full view of the first floor of the workshop, as well as a window to the world. Or at least Roscoe Village.
When I sit down to one of the work tables to lead a class, a magical shift happens in more than my lower-back. The simple act of switching seats turns on a creative place in me that can easily get sleepy in the comfort of my every-day spot. Earlier this week we had a camp with multiple students that didn't know one another beforehand. When the first 3 students arrived, they sat elbow-to-elbow along one side of the table. The instructor sat on the other side of the table to begin the class, and the students listened quietly and began a project in similar fashion. I waited for the right time to try an experiment with a powerful technique that I have used previously in my corporate career-- change seats to change perspective.
Think about the last meeting you attended (groan) where contention grew between two or more people that sat next to one another. How much more difficult is it to be difficult when you sit across from someone? Sure, the table between us gives a little buffer, but being able to read the other person's expression and grab, or try uncomfortably to avoid, their eye contact creates an entirely different playground. To stoke creativity and foster teamwork, I would ask meeting participants to choose a chair that they hadn't inhabited for a while. Even the simple consideration of "why is Candice always asking us to do silly things" was enough to lighten the mood and prepare everyone for something better than the dreaded meeting.
So when the moment was right this week, I asked some of the campers to try a new seat. Woohoo! Moments later the giggle factor went through the roof. That's right. The Chief Giggle Officer's job here was done.
Now it's your turn. Give it a try. At work, at the dinner table, or in the next class that you take. See what a change in view will do. We can't wait to hear how it works.