Have you ever thought of how your use of space contributes or diminishes your influence with your clients or audience? Proximity is often understated in terms of influence and connection. Research conducted on collaboration at Bell Labs years ago concluded that scientists were more likely to collaborate when their offices were closer together than farther apart. Informal contact at the water fountain or the employee break room at other organizations have produced similar results, with more interaction and collaboration occurring on projects when people can “bump into” others in informal settings. Is your office environment set up so that you can easily and casually connect with others? And if you are a solopreneur, do you regularly get out of your home office, take a walk in your neighborhood, or become involved in community events to inspire a new idea or relationship?
The physical boundaries and limitations we place around ourselves impact the quality of the interaction we have with others. As a general principle, removing those barriers brings us and our message closer to our audience and instills a greater impact. Move your desk or your chair when meeting with clients, so that you are not separated with a physical boundary. Move from behind the lecturn to shorten the distance between you and your audience when delivering a presentation. This is where the engagement and the connection happen. By removing those physical barriers you create more interactivity, impact, and influence.