How People Sit in Meetings and What it Really Means

Collaboration with illustrator bad-ass Matt Huynh who I’ve been trying to work with since our James Victore dinner series. Big thanks to Matt from ShowerHacks and my fellow Bookface compatriots who communicated meeting research for this – Chelsea, Kate, Tim, JZ, Barton, Gina, Eric Lefkofsky and Blaise. Starring Barry.

How People Sit in Meetings

Did I miss any? See how many you incorporate into one meeting. For more of this nonsense, check out the best survival knife What it Really Means series of posts on here, see some of my weird videos sorted by popularity, view the Instagram craziness, or just doowhachalike.

  • Testing new comments

  • I love you

  • bartonsmith

    So good! Love the new additions.

  • True to life.

  • Lauren

    Fantastic. And all true!

  • So good.

  • scary accurate

  • John

    Where’s the “remote worker”?

  • Molly

    this is the best thing I’ve seen ever. Can we be friends, Nate?!

  • Definitely needs “remote worker” and “sitting backwards in my chair.”

  • thank you for laying this out soo sweetly……words only account for 7% of what we “hear” body language says it all !

  • Kevin

    Need the “checking my phone ‘discreetly’ under the desk for the entire meeting”

  • Sexting

    What about “texting” for the person with eyes and thumbs glued to their phone?

  • Linda Gerard


  • lol

  • Very cute. I loved every minute of this!!!

  • Best ever!

  • Nervous pen flicker or hand/nail picker?

  • Luke

    How about the “I do yoga, I’m comfortable sitting on the floor. Chairs are bad for you anyway.”

  • tcbarrett

    I love that bear

  • suli ali

    you are the funniest!

  • Great!

  • heba

    awesome & very funny

  • chloe penn

    lol. i can Bear it.

  • anaxamaxan

    The knitter: “Mind if I knit? I’m going to pretend to pay attention, but mostly I’m in a meditative state, silently counting stitches. Damn, dropped my yarn again.”

  • anaxamaxan

    Laptop open, with “remote worker” in a Skype or G+ window. “Hey, just because I’m remote doesn’t mean I’m not part of the team!”

  • Chris

    What about the napper?

  • Jonathan Dresner

    You missed my favorites: “nodding off” and “sitting slightly away from the table with hands in lap to show I’m paying attention but don’t want to get involved”

  • Was just about to say that.

  • Antoine

    remote …

  • Pat

    You’re missing the covert hostility person: facing you, no internet, arms crossed, angry/frustrated look on face.

  • Can’t believe I missed that one!!!! I might need to make an addition. So important.


  • Ha! read this during a meeting. upset the “others” as i almost choked to death stifling my laughs. thx!

  • This is amazing.

  • People use Google+ for meetings?

  • The Rocker. My chair’s legs are straight, but I keep moving back and forth because you went five minutes past my attention span…six minutes into the meeting.

  • Stephanie

    Oh My….you nailed it…we have an “allstar” on my team that is constantly nodding off to the point that she no longer attends meetings in person because she can fall asleep staring you in the face!

  • HAHA! So glad I took the day off, but I will be picturing the bear as an overlay to my co-workers for a while…funny stuff!

  • Zymurge

    How about an empty chair that signifies the exec that either called the meeting or that is being presented to as a key stakeholder, but is always running 10-20 minutes late?

  • Ha, I am a combo of a “discreet phone checker” and no matter what chair I’m in, I sit indian-style with my legs crossed.

  • You forgot “desperately scribbling down every word in a feeble attempt to stay awake.”

  • Picasso: Mind if I sit here and draw while you do you’re meeting? I may draw a better version of the thing you’re talking about or just a sketch of a dog barfing. Either way, it’s going to happen so don’t even try to make eye contact.

  • just want to say nice post this made my day!!!! : DDDD

  • This demands bingo card creation for speakers.

  • Person sits, chin on hand, fingers drumming with controlled impatience, just waiting to tell someone why their suggestion won’t work. Never supports anything. Master Downer. Never played team sports. “I’m smarter than all of you losers.”

  • I have done every single one of these. Twice.

  • how about “the sleeper”? eyes closed, brows scrunched, lips pursed as if i’m concentrating, but actually I’m fast asleep

  • The “Splayer”… men that back their chairs out and open their legs wide, so we can all marvel in their glory

  • Arbor Vitae

    The doodler (“It may appear as though I’m taking notes but I’m engrossed by my swirly creation”). Meeting Bear wears black artist beret. Also,