Your office is supposed to be a symbol of your success and achievements. It’s a pedestal from which you exert your power over the minions below you.
Or so you think.
The problem is that your office isn’t exactly looking great. You’ve overlooked several important features that can have a pivotal role in how you’re perceived. That’s got to change.
Here, we’re going to investigate what your office says about you as a leader. Are you missing a trick?
Are You An Interrogator, Or An Equal Partner?
Have you ever noticed the type of setup that interrogators have got going on? They sit up high in some comfortable chair, while the person that they are interrogating sits down low. They have the freedom to roam around, ask questions and generally get comfortable with their surroundings. The person being interrogated is fixed to the spot, unable to move comfortably, and generally diminutive.
This difference in posture has a psychological effect. The interrogator is seen as powerful and authoritative. The person in the lower fixed chair is perceived as vulnerable. Does this sound at all like your office?
Of course, whether this is good or not depends on the type of business you’re trying to run. If you run a boot camp, then maybe it’s a good setup. But if you’re interested in becoming connected to your staff, then maybe it’s not such a good idea. If it’s trust and support you want to give, maybe stick to comfortable office chairs and generous sitting space.
Is Your Office Visitor-Friendly?
How friendly your office is for visitors has a significant impact on how you’re perceived. The first step is to make sure that your office is accessible. You can get ADA compliant door operators from outlets like Qualified Hardware to help with disabled access. And you can invest in things like ramps, push buttons and special bathroom facilities.
The next step is to make sure that you have a place where you can easily and effectively meet with visitors. Many visitors won’t want to do business straight away and cutting to the chase might not be effective. Instead, they’ll need to be warmed up. A good rule of thumb is to do something that you can both share in, like a cup of coffee. Make your client a drink so that it doesn’t feel like a “them against you” situation. This helps to make them feel that you are on their side.
Does Your Office Send Mixed Messages About Your Mission?
CEOs are proud of what their companies have achieved and their own professional awards. So much so, in fact, that many take to putting up their awards on their walls. After all, they took a lifetime of work to achieve. But all too often, these displays conflict with the culture of the company. Businesses that emphasize teamwork should showcase the achievements of all members of the firm, not just the CEO. Is your business a bit like this? Does your office claim to be about teamwork but only celebrate the achievements of a few? Perhaps it’s time to change tack.