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Seating Charts and Org Charts

A Fun Analogy; the Wedding Reception and the Professional Workplace
Written by Chuck GolderFebruary 5, 2021
Est. Reading: 3 minutes

Next time you succumb to the captivating rhythm of the “Electric Slide” at a wedding reception, notice the glaring similarities between the fellow beside you sliding in the wrong direction and your team member that neglected company procedure causing a clash in operations.

In this entertaining comparison, I identified and dissected three examples that marries these two parties- wedding guestlist and team at the workplace.

1) Leadership

You will never witness a more chaotic scene than the moments before a bridal party introduction at a wedding reception. Ask any coordinator or DJ – the level of discord, lack of focus, and ricocheting conversations make it a strenuous task to cattle the attendants into correct line placement. A successful coordinator has patience, direction, communication skills and persistence to create a harmonious entrance that appears to be effortless from the view of the applauding guest picking at their preset salad from their seat.

In the workplace, a team with no clearly established expectations, processes and direction can easily resemble this same state of turmoil. An efficient leader will steer a team’s energy and dialogue in a direction that filters the muddy noise that prevents achieving objectives.

2) Process and Organization

Every wedding guest list has a few of these attendees- the ones who arrive to the reception with the greeting card sitting back on the hotel dresser. Although the beautiful calligraphy carefully scripted on the card tent clearly provides the seating assignment (that same seating chart that took the bride and groom hours to perfect), this is the guest that can never be seen in his or her designated chair. At the close of the party, shoes, purse and other personal items of this guest are retrieved by the venue as abandoned items to await the “claim of shame” the following morning.

“Can you send me that link?”, says this parallel team member only semi-seconds before the team meeting is scheduled to launch. On the other hand, it is a good thing that he/or she is even attending this mandatory conversation at all, considering their daily planner that displays the day’s responsibilities was forgotten in the parked car on the other side of the building’s lot.  This is the team member that at times cannot be found at their own desk because they need to use another teammate’s charger, volleying between each other’s devices throughout the day.

3) Environment

A wedding reception’s dance activity is a strong factor on measuring the celebration’s success. Dancing is an infectious activity- the more dancers on the floor, the more bystanders surrender to the rhythmic pressure. An empty dance floor suggests judgement, and that feeling is highly avoided in any scenario. When a dance floor is booming and at its peak, you may even find the bride’s most painfully shy and uncoordinated cousin break out some moves. Momentum is high as the hyped attendees continue to recruit more dancers to common grounds making the wedding reception a glaring success!

A team’s productivity and culture are highly influenced by its environment. Like the lonely dance floor, some workers, when left in solitude, crave the stimulus that is generated by a setting of engaged workers and inspiring layouts. The idea of “following suit” can also suggest that, like the shy cousin who ultimately found his path to the crowded dance floor, even the most unmotivated worker can be fueled by example in the correct setting. For this reason, many remote workers choose to work in a collaborative setting such as a coworking or shared workspace community.

Next time your team is facing an internal struggle, perhaps a blaring “Sweet Caroline” and sip of cranberry and vodka will inspire some ideas for a departmental resolution.

Check this out- Our space can be your destination for both a productive workspace and a stunning wedding venue. align.Space is Chester County’s premiere location for coworking, shared office space, private offices, conference rooms, production studio, and private events. Located in a renovated historic building in the heart of downtown West Chester, our stylish space is an ideal setting for anything meaningful to take place. Come and tour to learn more about our membership options and event availability.


Written By Chuck Golder

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