In the past, people gathered for discussions. Over time, these gatherings evolved into meetings. Today, meetings are commonplace. "Jour Fixe" is the current term for regular meetings. Many of my clients express dissatisfaction with these sessions. They either find them boring, uninspiring, and unproductive, or simply a display of the usual suspects.
However, the fundamental idea of regular exchange is absolutely correct, as it is only through exchange that we, as a team, can motivate each other, inspire one another, and fully unleash our potential. If each individual works in isolation, the necessary broader perspective is lost, depriving us of the opportunity to grow with our capabilities and skills.
But why is the outcome of these discussions, meetings, and "Jour Fixe" often so mediocre?
Certainly, there are many reasons for that. However, a crucial one is one that almost nobody considers:
If you're rolling your eyes right now and thinking that there are more important things than the darn table where a meeting takes place, that's understandable. After all, we're not accustomed to considering the influence of form and design.
It's quite different in Indian Wisdom Lore. Here, this influence is not only recognized but deliberately used to achieve specific results. This method is called Vāstu.
Let's take a closer look at what we can learn about effective "Jour Fixe" through Vāstu.
Let's get started.
Even King Arthur knew the secret of Vāstu
King Arthur was a legendary king of ancient times, known for his exceptional rule. Like any king, he had his throne room where he received visitors and sought advice. What set King Arthur apart, among other things, was his idea to convene an ancient "Jour Fixe": King Arthur's Round Table.
Instead of sitting exalted on the throne while receiving reports, he gathered with his closest allies around a large round table to jointly develop strategies and find solutions. These round table discussions didn't become famous for being boring and endless. On the contrary, they seemed to be very effective and inspiring.
When the German government convenes to make important decisions, it happens in a dynamic that regularly deprives all participants of their nightly sleep. Not because these meetings are so incredibly exciting, but because it takes forever to find a common ground for different opinions. The meetings don't take place at a round table but at an elongated one.
Do you recall how Jyotisha, the astrology of India, attaches significance to astronomical facts? In Vāstu, the Vedic design doctrine, meaning is attributed to geometric shapes.
A round table therefore triggers a different dynamic than a rectangular one
Everything that is round stimulates movement. The rounder the form, the more dynamic the scenario. A perfectly circular table thus leads to much more mobility than an oval one. The longer the oval becomes, the less mobile the people sitting at the table behave.
Everything that is rectangular induces fixed structures. The more square the form, the more everything occurs within steady and stable structures. The further the form deviates from a square towards a rectangle, the more flexible the structures become (until instability sets in with a very elongated rectangle).
Now imagine you're part of a meeting taking place in a square conference room, where all participants sit on square chairs with nearly square seat cushions at an almost square table. Everyone has their open rectangular notebooks in front of them, following the presentation in an angular serif font.
If the purpose of this "Jour Fixe" is to finalize future financial planning, this rectangular layout is advisable. Thoughtfulness, thoroughness, and strategic thinking that establish reliable financial structures are reinforced by the rectangular shapes.
However, this equation only holds true if the direction of the discussion is already clear. If this preliminary work isn't finished and flexibility is required to initially align different ideas, concepts, and opinions, then a more circular layout is helpful.
Exchange between individuals is not an arbitrary option. It happens constantly and holds tremendous opportunities
Whether it's about clarifications between two people or the creative power of a project team: meetings should be inspiring and meaningful, not annoying and boring.
During your next meeting, you can directly apply what you've just learned (whether privately with family and friends or professionally with colleagues and employees). Consider the purpose of the meeting and then decide how you can use the shapes around you to support your cause.
The choice is yours. You can cleverly utilize Vāstu, much like King Arthur and his Round Table, or you can disregard Vāstu and struggle against the unfavorable design of your immediate environment in your meetings, much like governments often do.
ÜBER DEN AUTOR
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