Office Politics

“Keeps your friends close, and your enemies closer.” ~Machiavelli

Sometimes in a corporate setting, you have to go into a meeting knowing that there’s a huge target painted on your back. There’s that one guy (for whatever reason) who is going to come at you with both barrels, and you’d prefer to minimize the damage.

What do you do?

Do you sit as far away as you can? Do you “forget about the meeting” and not show up?


Sit right next to him.

If you’re right next to him, this will prevent the psychological distance he would need in order to feel comfortable attacking your ideas.

If, however, you sit across the table from your would-be attacker, it sets the stage for a more adversarial dynamic that encourages an “Me vs You” situation.

Global Implications


This technique of proximity improving relations has played out over all of human history.

There’s much greater psychological resistance to attacking someone who is right next to you than someone who is a world away. Think about how you would rather fight someone: would you rather go into hand-to-hand combat or push a button thousand miles away?

The physical & psychological distance makes it easier to be aggressive towards someone else, and that’s why you sitting right next to the person who has it out for you forces them to be too close for comfort.


Posted by Jonathan Pritchard

For the past 20 years Jonathan has been a professional mentalist. He's toured the world, entertained the troops stationed overseas, & amazed audiences on TV. He realized the same psychological techniques he uses on stage are exactly the same he uses in his own business to create an incredible life. Companies & clients hire his coaching services to get a mind reader's thoughts on problem solving, networking, relationship building, and any other dynamic where people are involved. When not on the road, he gets his mail in Chicago, and you can find him practicing kung fu every morning.