The recognised way of avoiding confrontational meetings, without stifling strongly expressed opinions, is the fan-shaped or circular chamber. I found long ago that abolishing church council meetings where members glared across the room at each other, and substituting a fan-shaped gathering, allowed business to be conducted more efficiently and with less hassle. This seems to have become the norm in most meetings outside the British Parliament. The debating chambers of most of our European neighbours have the same seating, in a circular or semi-circular plan.
If we are to become a less confrontational nation, with a One Nation ethos, this is a priority, not an optional extra.
Canon G H SMITH
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