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I’m one for ‘round tables‘. And I’m one that much prefers “Dancing Sarah’s Circle” to “climbing Jacob’s ladder!”

I believe that “round tables” have everything to do with our SUCCEEDING once we’ve made the decision to do so. Why you might ask?

Well picture something from the great story of King Arthur and his court! Picture the knights about the table with Arthur at the designated ‘head‘. When you see it in your mind - tell me what you see.

Here’s what I see:

1) everyone about the table can see each of the others gathered round - no one is hidden from view,
2) each appears to have equal position to the others with the exception of the ‘head’ of the table,
3) the ‘head’ is only the head because he/she has been so designated,
4) each about the table has equal opportunity for input.

When I was being immersed in small group human relations training back in my college days, we talked a great deal about the “value” and “power” of a “round table“. The most important aspect I learned was that all parties gathered not only could see the others without having to turn around to look - but had equal ‘position’ by virtue of the seating arrangement. Now when setting up a meeting, I always ask if a venue has “round tables“. For those of you in AWI F2F, you now know why round tables are so important to me!

It’s important for everyone on your “SUCCESS TEAM” to be visible to the others. It’s also important for each member to KNOW who is the designated “head“. When those two “important” pieces are settled and in place. . . . your team will function much better. It’s very difficult to ‘hide’ ourselves and our reaction to situations & discussions when our face and body language can be seen by all! And it’s equally difficult to ignore the “head” when the head can see and gauge reactions to all that is happening.

But more important is the fact that a ‘round table’ denotes equality. . . .even when the ‘designated head’ is present. It’s the “head” giving permission to all to participate in the process - whatever the process may be. As decisions are made, they ‘flow’ around the table from member to member for full and equal participation. And no one should ever leave with the feeling of non-involvement - a feeling that is counter productive to everyone’s SUCCESS.

Here’s the ‘rub’ so to speak. There are those who will come to your ‘round table’ and say little. Have no opinion or as they say in poker - “pass” (at least I think it’s poker - I don’t play that game). They will remain silent for all to wonder what’s happening “upstairs“. Even when the designated head invites their participation by asking a question or in some way seeking to ‘draw them out‘! Be wary when that happens on a continual basis. And take time to engage that person “one to one” to see if it’s shyness, lack of esteem relative to having anything of substance to add or any other emotional or personal growth “growing edge“. It may be that the wrong ‘knight’ has come to the table, thus a change of personnel may be necessary.

I’m a little ‘tongue-in-cheek’ with this post (as usual), but I’m very serious about the value and the risks of using the “round table” approach. The value has been stated above! And at least 1 risk as I see it. There may be others.

Of course, the greatest risk may be that the wrong “head” sits in the designated position. In which case, major adjustment will be necessary!

Don’t have a SUCCESS TEAM? Not sure what it is? Ask me and we can talk about it more.

But remember - no one is ever alone on the road to SUCCESS. It may and often does take more than ONE to get there. The “knights” at the table may change from time to time. . . but it’s the loyalty, input, commitment to a cause greater than themselves and a commitment to you as the designated “head” that’s the important thing - not their name or even their position.

A “homework” suggestion! Take pad & pen and begin making a list of those folks (men n’ women) in your life who have shown you they are loyal companions on life’s journey; whose input you value; who have learned it’s “all about us” and are committed to your journey as well as their own; and finally, have told you with honesty, that they are committed to your SUCCESS.

Then find a ‘round table’ and gather them about you. We’ll talk about the process later. . . the important thing NOW is simply to DO IT. For to SUCCEED is to jump over the obstacles and simply DO SOMETHING that gets you moving!

Have an awesome day finding ‘Knights In Pursuit of Mutual Success” to gather with you at ‘table‘!

Much love,

Linda, a fellow journeyer


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Rena Bennefield wrote Jan 15, 2009
    • always you have sparked my imagination..I have heard of this many times..And it really does work..I found it was even acceptable with my own family... When we had a oblong table I sat at the head and my kids on either side..What I found was that they talked to one another more than with me..So when I bought my next table It was round I sat in the chair with the wall to my back and my kids on either side what I found was, I was now involved in more of the chit chat.. I realize with only 3 people it would not seem to matter oblong or round but it does because we all had the same amount of distance between us. Just food for thought... Thanks for the insight =)

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linda S Fitzgerald wrote Jan 15, 2009
    • Thanks for you positive comments Rena!  Much love, Linda

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