You know the saying “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”? The same philosophy applies to arranging your office decor in a way that will convey authority and earn the respect of your colleagues. Karen Rauch Carter, author of MOVE YOUR STUFF, CHANGE YOUR LIFE, shares an example of how using the principles of feng shui can make a big difference in how people treat you at work.
Tammy finally got the accounting job she was looking for in a public institution. But when she got there, she noticed that some things weren’t being handled very accurately or responsibly. She was determined to clean it up, but was met with resistance at every level, with top management actually saying to leave well enough alone. Tammy then found herself outside the organization’s loop with social as well as professional matters. She called in a feng shui professional—my friend Nate.
He immediately started moving her office furniture around. “Facing the door when you sit at your desk is a must for anyone,” he said as he placed her desk and chair in the Fame section of the office. He suggested placing a wooden bookshelf on either side of her desk against the back wall (to “guard” her). Then he meticulously placed her accounting books on the shelves (to symbolically show everyone how meticulous she was). He told her to add silk plants on top of the shelves (to soften the shelves and subconsciously create trees out of them—“wood feeds fire”). Then, looking around the office for the perfect thing to hang on the wall behind her, he came upon some beautiful original art. “What’s this?” he asked, sifting through the floral paintings.
“Oh, that’s some art my grandmother did. She is a well-known artist in the country from which I came.”
“Perfect. Place these behind you,” he said. “They hold the energy of a respected person as well as having your grandmother watching out for you.” Tammy maintained her integrity and kept working.
It worked. After about two months, she said people were treating her with respect. After two years, she found an accounting error that everyone else had missed, and saved the institution millions and a bad reputation. Shortly after that, all the executives were asked to step down, and she was practically the last employee standing.
Your desk may be the only thing you are actually in charge of spatially at your office. Make sure it gathers respect for you. If you have clientele, guests, or coworkers frequently meeting with you at your desk, have them sit on the Family side of the desk if at all possible. If you are the boss, come out from behind your desk to speak with others. If you aren’t, and the boss comes to speak with you, be sure you are sitting at your desk.
Want more design tips? Pick up a copy of Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life to learn how to use feng shui to benefit your love life, career, finances, and children.
Redecorating? Use these 7 simple steps to feng shui your home.
Excerpted from Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life by Karen Rauch Carter. Copyright © 2000 by Karen Rauch Carter. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.