By Marie Mortreux, Public Relations and Communications Intern
FEW’s July meeting was the last before a one-month summer break. The meeting focused on Feng Shui, or fu-sui in Japanse. Our guest speaker was Master of Feng Shui Jodi Brunner, who is based in Nigata where’s also proprietor of a Japanese restaurant with her husband. The meeting was moderated by Sabine Becker Thierry who is also the program director at FEW Japan.
Brunner used to work at a telecommunications company in Melbourne, Australia where, after an office remodel, she noticed employees had a tendency to argue more. When she suggested to her boss making some adjustments to the space according to the principles of Feng Shui, he quickly dismissed her, which only made Brunner more passionate about helping create agreeable environments to work in. Brunner, who has devoted herself to the study and practice of Feng Shui, Chinese Astrology and Face Reading for more than 21 years, talked about the importance of Feng Shui in relation to business. She studied with Master Joseph Yu for 18 years and, in 2005, was given the title of Master of Feng Shui.
Feng Shui literally means “wind” and “water.” When we harness these two vital elements of nature, they provide us with what we need in order to survive in any environment. Wind carries the vital breath of qi across the landscape where it accumulates at the boundary of water. That is why so often in Feng Shui we see water placed in front of a building.
One of Brunner’s favorite quotes is “Plan what is difficult while it is easy, do what is big while it is small.” This saying refers to the Chinese philosophy of the duality of yin and yang and the assumption life is based on constant change. Light and dark, active and quiet, hot and cold are some of the concepts which exist in unison with each other. Similarly, in business, Brunner explained expansion and consolidation complete each other. Promoting products is one example of expansion while stock sales are an example of consolidation. It’s important to clean out the old to make for the new.
Her are some of the most important principles of Feng Shui:
- Fish and water are symbols of wealth, transportation, wisdom and commerce/trade. Placing fish tank, fountain or other source of water in your business will bring wealth.
- The ideal site for a shop, office or commercial space is on the corner of an intersection. A road pointing toward a building or a building with pointy edges are examples of sha qui, which is sign of negative energy. A business might not be prosperous under those circumstances.
- A building reflects the character of the people who work inside. For example, if the exterior is untidy or run down, then it appears so too are the occupants and their wares.
- If a building has straight stairs close to the entrance, opportunities will roll away.
In terms of business, Brunner insisted when selling something to customers, we — the business owners — make the difference. A customer doesn’t know what he/ she wants in general, so it’s up to us to relate to him/her and help them make a decision. She emphasized the importance of asking open questions at the beginning of a transaction such as, “How can I help you?” Closing a deal can be done with a closed question, such as, “Can I do anything else for you today?”
She then explained the importance of symbols related to Feng Shui in the visual side of your business, such as marketing materials. By using the five elements creative cycle (water, wood, fire, earth and metal), shapes and colors can come together to create a business logo which suits the company image. It’s also possible to use Feng Shui when creating websites for companies.
Finally, Brunner explained the importance of the position of our work space. The ideal position for your desk is to place it so, when seated, you’re facing the door with a solid wall behind your back. If a desk cannot be moved away from a wall, consider hanging a mirror or reflective surface on the wall at eye level to reflect the view from behind. Avoid clutter/disorder as much as possible, but keep in mind an empty desk can also imply a lack of activity to clients.
“An empty office is like an empty mind,” she noted.
Brunner concluded that despite all these principles, one doesn’t have to stick to the every rule every time. Sometimes, it’s fine to choose to put ourselves in an inconvenient position to see how we feel about it. See which of her tips you can put into practice and let us know how it goes!
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