Detlef ForbrichAirbus Leadership University

Empty Chair

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A simple practice to listen in to an organization’s purpose consists of allocating an empty chair at any meeting to represent the organization and its evolutionary purpose. Anybody participating in the meeting can, at any time, change seats, to listen to and become the voice of the organization.


Active listening, Meeting culture


The empty chair can be used explicitly or as a guiding voice in our heads. Here are some questions one might tune into while sitting in that chair:
Have the decisions and the discussion served you (the organization) well?How are you at the end of this meeting?What stands out to you from today’s meeting?In what direction do you want to go? At what speed? Are we being bold enough? Too bold?Is there something else that needs to be said or discussed?


Context: ​Any team meeting! You need to have defined your purpose first.

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