King Arthur used the Round Table as an attempt to give each of his knights an equal amount of authority and status. A round table creates an atmosphere of relaxed informality and is ideal for promoting discussion among people who are of equal status as each person can claim the same amount of table territory. Removing the table and sitting in a circle also promotes the same result. Unfortunately, King Arthur was unaware that if the status of one person is higher than the others in the group it alters the power and authority of each other individual. The king held the most power at the Round Table and this meant that the knights seated on either side of him were non-verbally granted the next highest amount of power, the one on his right having a little more than the one on the left, and the amount of power diminished relative to the distance that each knight was seated away from the king.
Consequently, the knight seated directly across the table from King Arthur was, in effect, in the competitive-defensive position and was likely to be the one who gave the most trouble. Many of today's business executives use both square and round tables. The square desk, which is usually the work desk, is used for business activity, brief conversations, reprimands and the like. The round table, often a coffee table with wraparound seating, is used to create an informal relaxed atmosphere or to persuade.
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