Hot seat

The Hot Seat is another, more reflective, method for encouraging participants to take a stand and express their values openly. They indicate their opinion by standing up or sitting down.

The rules are:

  • no one questions anyone else’s standpoint
  • listen attentively and regard what is said as a testimony rather than a matter for discussion
  • anyone can change their opinion at any time

The participants – preferably the facilitator, too – sit on chairs in a circle. The facilitator makes a statement and the participants agree or disagree with it by standing up or remaining seated, respectively. Those in doubt can indicate this by adopting a half-way position but that is uncomfortable and is not recommended. When everyone has decided, some participants are asked how they reasoned: “You are standing – what do you think?” “You remain seated – tell us why!” When all those who want to have motivated their choice, continue with the next statement.

It is important to formulate the statements clearly and simply – no negatives.

The hot seat can also be practiced with a show of hands, or by moving from one side of the room to the other, or as the Line (see below). A disabled person in a wheelchair can move this further into or out of the circle.

See also the application Association

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Posted in Method Bank, Methods