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5 chairs that define our life...

Sunday, February 10, 2019

When I saw this TED talk I thought it gave me a lot to think about, hope it does you too.

Louise Evans, behavioral coach, corporate trainer, and author of ‘5 Chairs 5 Choices’ explains that all of our behaviors can be divided into 5 major responses. She illustrates human behaviors with 5 chairs. Those 5 chairs define our life, who we are and what do we bring into this world. Those chairs define how do we communicate and what environment do we build around us. Those 5 are the choices we make every day.

Chair 1 – Choice 1: The Jackal.
The main behavior: attack.

Loise Evans explains that this is the chair where we misbehave the most. In this chair we want to blame, to complain, to punish. And to judge. We judge ourselves and others. The more we judge people, the less time we have to love them. Now my questions to you are the following:

1. In which situations do you act as jackal?
2. How often your response is the attack?
3. How does that influence your life and your relationships?
Try to remember the last situation when your jackal came out.

Chair 2 – Choice 2: The Hedgehog.
The main behavior: self-doubt.

According to Loise Evans, here we tend to be very vulnerable, where we protect ourselves from what we think is an “evil world”. We do not believe in ourselves here. The internal dialogue is something like: “I am not intelligent enough – I cannot do this, I am not capable, I am not worth it”. Fears of being rejected, fears of disappointing others, fears of failing. And we also play the victims here. Ask yourself the following questions:

1. How often do I behave out of hedgehog chair?
2. What happens around me when I start doubting in myself?
3. What it is like to live out of hedgehog chair?
The highest form of intelligence is the ability to observe ourselves without judging. - Juddu Krishnamurti

Chair 3 – Choice 3: The Meerkat.
The main behavior: wait.

Louise Evans explains, that when we are in this chair we are mindful, we observe, we pause, we are conscious. Here we are very curious. Here we have a choice. Out of here we can choose the chair we actually want to be on next. For example, our reaction to someone’s aggressive behavior can be: “I wonder why that person is angry”. This is the waiting chair; out of this chair we are choosing our response to aggressor for example.

1. Are you familiar with this chair?
2. How often do you use it?
3. What does it bring to your life?

Chair 4 – Choice 4: The Dolphin.
Main behavior: detect.

As per Loise Evans, in this chair we become self-aware, we know who we are, what we want and where we are going, we are not afraid to speak our truth. In this chair we also create the boundaries, but we do not give our power away. We become assertive, but not aggressive. We look after ourselves in this chair. Here we grow, we become free and powerful. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.-Aristotle
Ask yourself the following:

1. What do I do in order to know myself more?
2. How often do I use this chair?
3. How do I feel when I speak my truth?
4. In which situations it is difficult for me to set the boundaries?

Chair 5 – Choice 5: The Giraffe.
Main behavior: connect.

Loise Evans explains that when we are in this chair, we display empathy, compassion and understanding. In this chair we put our egos aside and we listen to people and we care for them. This is where we are stepping into someone’s else shoes. This is where we connect with others. The invite here is to embrace the different realities and the intention is to stay connected whatever happens. “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better”. - Abraham Lincoln

1. How does your giraffe look like?
2. What do you like the most about it?
3. What does it bring to your life?
4. In which situations and with whom you would like to use it more?

How to apply this during our daily life. How to find the balance?

The aim is to observe and to get to know ourselves a little bit better, and out of there to consciously choose our own behavior.

Everything can be taken from man but one thing. The last of human freedoms – to choose one´s attitude in any given set of circumstances. - Viktor Frankl

In what chair do you spend the most of your day?

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