The 'warm seat' generates ideas for action points for the seated person.
Unlike the 'hot seat' where individuals are put on the spot and face questions from others, the 'warm seat' is a comfortable seat from which the seated person asks the questions. The most important feature of this reviewing method is that the seated person is in control: if they feel 'too hot', 'too cold' or in any way uncomfortable, they leave the seat to stop whatever is being said.
- Chairs for everybody
- Board or flipchart with a qustions
The group will have shared a number of experiences together and they are ready to think about applying what they have learned to situations outside the immediate learning environment. The concept of action points is briefly explained, and each person is asked to think of one or two questions to ask to the group which will help them with ideas for action points. (How could I be more ...? What should I do if ...? How could I get on better with ...?)
Seating is arranged in a horse-shoe facing the 'warm seat'. The first questioner sits in the warm seat and asks their question, which is then clearly written up on a board behind the 'warm seat'. This arrangement focuses the group's attention both on the question and on the questioner.
If the questioner asks a question about a situation which is not well known to the group, the reviewer should say, "It will not be easy to answer your question unless you tell us a bit more about ..."
The questioner may choose to change their question, ask extra questions, or give more information but (assuming there is a time limit for each person's time in the warm seat), the more they talk, the more they reduce the time for answers.
Method by Roger Greenaway