Have you tried the ‘empty chair technique’? It’s a great way to find a new perspective and new ways to solve a problem. Particularly if you’ve tried other ideas and the other person is still driving you bonkers.
Let’s say you have a customer or a client who is being uncooperative or even rude to you or your team. Alternatively, you might need to sell your 2018 programme and budget to your boss but worry about their objections.
The idea behind the ‘empty chair’ technique, which originates from Fritz Perls of the Gestalt school, is that physically altering your point of view and seeing things from a different angle can bring useful insights. This insight helps you change your behaviour to achieve a better outcome.
I really enjoy using it in my one to one coaching. You can also use it with a colleague taking notes or even on your own.
- Set up two empty chairs
- Put yourself in one of the chairs and imagine that the empty chair is occupied by the other person in the relationship.
- The question is “As x (yourself or the other person), how do you feel about x?
- You describe what you think and feel about the imaginary person in the other chair and or the situation.
- You then change chairs and think about yourself ‘being’ the other person, this time looking at an imagined version of yourself. Ask the same question.
What’s so interesting is that often we have a very good understanding of the other person but the exercises surface knowledge we’ve often ignored. It also releases a great deal of pent up emotion about a relationship which allows you to think more clearly and find new ways of handling the situation.
Please do contact us if you or a colleague would be interested in one to one business coaching. We can talk through what you are looking for and how we work with our clients. Email me at: Karen@kineticfuture.com.