Tip #239: Impact of Room Arrangements: U Shape

Some trainers prefer the U shape room arrangement, where the top of the U is the front of the room.

Pros:

  • All participants can see each other easily.
  • All participants can see the trainer at the front of the room.
  • All participants have a writing surface.
  • It is easy for participants to come and go from this seating arrangement.
  • It is easy for the trainer to move into the group to interact or to dipstick during individual or small group activities.

Cons:

  • It is less conducive to small group interaction: because the participants are seated next to each other, it is difficult to see or hear those seated further away.
  • It can be difficult for participants to see those seated to either side of them.
  • It creates an uncomfortable sense of exposure for participants (at least for me).
  •  

I probably should explain this last comment. Many years ago, I was part of a consortium to draft a monograph in response to Dr. W. Edward Deming’s 14th quality improvement point against the idea of performance evaluation. We were seated in a U shape. Although he had not been formally invited, Dr. Deming appeared and sat in the very front of the room. I was seated at the bottom of the U. When I made some statements in favor of employee-friendly performance evaluations, Dr. Deming stood up to his full 6+’ height, extended his long arm to point his finger at me, and came toward me booming in his loud and deep voice: “NO, NO, NO!”To say the least, it was very intimidating! As a result, I have a negative transfer to that incident whenever I see a U shape!

The rest of that story, by the way, is that later we had a conversation where we both AGREED that there was value to employee-friendly performance evaluations that involved ongoing communication between the employee and the supervisor regarding performance standards that were reasonable, objective, measurable, job-related, and within the employee’s control. Unfortunately, I can’t prove that the dialogue with Dr. Deming ever occurred, because there were no witnesses to our conversation!!!

There are trainers who have told me that they prefer this room arrangement. If you happen to be one of them, please write in to explain your rationale. I would hate for my bias to stand uncontested!

Related Posts

Manage Your Holiday Stress Before It Manages You!

Saturday, December 10th from 11 AM to 2:30 PM CST

Over the river to grandmother’s house- we have an idea in our mind about how the holiday should be. But planning, shopping, baking, wrapping gifts, and preparing the house all take a toll. It’s easy to become anxious, worried about creating a perfect, memorable holiday. It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or some other winter holiday. There are traditions to keep, favorite foods to prepare, and decorations to put up. It’s exhausting.

Then there’s the actual day. You will want everyone to feel happy and get along, but you know that the stress of the day can easily result in overexcited and grumpy grandchildren and irritable adult children. You imagine that all the time and effort you put into creating a lovely day could end up being wasted and unappreciated.

Holidays are supposed to be a joyful time. Let us help you get clear about what is not worth worrying about- and give you practical coping strategies that will help you stay calm when things don’t go the way you want them to go.

Join us for this highly interactive half-day virtual workshop on how to Manage Your Holiday Stress Before It Manages You on Saturday, December 10th from 11 AM to 2:30 PM CST. Your investment is $120. We guarantee that you will have a much less stressful holiday.

It doesn’t have to be difficult to Deal with Difficult People.

In this course you will define the behavioral characteristics and underlying needs of difficult people, assess situations in which you effectively handled a difficult person, review five steps for handling difficult people Laurel & Associates now offers courses through Teachable. Learn at your own pace.
Popular Post

Share This Post