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The Chair by keara



The Chair
A JCI One-Hour Training Course

Course designed by:

Aaron Saleh Michelin, ITF 021 (JCI Finland)


Course Outline

The Chair
This seminar focuses on the way we treat each other. Most people treat strangers better than friends or family. Participants will learn how to get along with others and achieve greater success in life. 1. 2. 3. To make people aware that sometimes we treat certain people like objects and consequently do not thank them enough. To learn how we can control our behaviors in winning or losing situations. To make people aware that collaboration is a winning formula; teamwork can make a difference. Opening Games The High and Low Chair Brainstorming Summary and Closing



1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


1 hour

Projector Flip charts (2) and markers Legal-size envelopes (one for each participant)


Time, Slides and Materials
20 minutes

Notes for the Trainer

“Welcome to ‘The Chair’ Seminar,” and leave it up until you start the session. A. Welcome

Start the session promptly. Welcome all participants and thank them for attending this seminar. Explain that this session will introduce a new concept of personal relations. Explain that active participation through contributing ideas and opinions will be an important factor in effective learning during this seminar. To get the best results from this session, total involvement is necessary. Contributions from each participant are expected and will be a key factor in the learning process. B. Introductions

Ask participants to introduce themselves, stating name and the type of chair they like best or feel most comfortable in. Introduce yourself and any other trainers in the room. “How does it feel to be a chair?” When was the last time you said: “Good morning chair,” or, “Thank you chair,” or, “It was a long day but we made it!” Ask everyone to stand up and say something nice to their chairs. Choose one participant to answer a few questions. After asking his name and where he comes from, pose the following questions: • • • • Have you ever talked to a chair? How does it feel to talk to a chair? How many hours do you sit on a chair every day? Have you ever said thank you to your chair?

Given the answers, we can conclude that chairs are mainly made for sitting, not talking. • Activity Do you have any friends or colleagues or other persons whom you treat like a chair?

Choose one volunteer and give him four chairs and four coins. Ask him to place the coins on the table and arrange the chairs around the table. Then ask him if he planned where to put the chairs and the coins and whether he planned which coins would be face up. 4

Time, Slides and Materials

Notes for the Trainer
“There are always two sides to the coin of human thinking. A chair, like most important issues, always has several sides .” Our own opinions often overlook aspects of the very same issue. Sometimes we are unable to see other aspects of an issue, which are obscured by narrow thinking or sure-mindedness. There are ways to improve your ability to understand both sides of an issue without changing your mind. “Different Thoughts.” A. BELIEVE IN YOUR THOUGHTS.

You have the right to sit in your own chair. B. RESPECT OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS.

People also have the right to sit in their own chairs. C. ACCEPT DIFFERENCES

These were two examples of using the chair to explain our behavior. Group work Divide the audience into three groups and ask them to make a two-minute presentation about criticism. Group 1: Group 2: Group 3: Critics Choose one critic for each group. Critics will not give any suggestions but will instead take note of every mistake the group makes. He must give a personal critique of each person in the group (I don’t like his socks...) and, of course, point out the failures of the presentation itself. Panel The groups now defend themselves against the critics. On the count of three everybody in the group will point to the person who will be their defender. 1. 2. Ask them first to say something positive about each other. (This might be difficult). Take two flipcharts (one facing each group). Elicit negative or derogatory words from the audience. (They will start with words like “dirty” and “evil” 5 Happy, funny, positive criticism Neutral, realistic criticism Negative, aggressive criticism (There is a positive side to this, too)

Time, Slides and Materials

Notes for the Trainer
and perhaps end up with far stronger words.) Each time a new word is mentioned, write it on the flip chart, alternating between the two flip charts. You need 7 - 8 words to each flip chart. Now ask them to criticize each other by using only the words on the flip charts.

General Discussion

As you noticed it was much easier to criticize than to praise. Criticizing was also much easier (to give and to receive) when it was somebody’s job and when it was controlled. There’s a story about the days when kings lived in their castles. The only person who was allowed to criticize the king without losing his head was the jester. This jester was often a crazy guy who was subject to the insults of everyone around him. But in the end his job was perhaps the most important: to be an important link between the people and the king. Is it easy to receive criticism? What are the most common reactions? Is it easier to accept when you know that it is somebody’s job?

15 Minutes



Musical Chairs A. Divide the participants into two or three groups. Have them form circles with their chairs. For each group, there should be one less chair than there are people.

When the music box stops, everybody has to try to find a seat as soon as possible. The person left standing without a seat is eliminated. Now take one seat away. Continue the game until you are left with a winner. Ask the winner and the losers to approach the front of the room. Questions: Loser: How does it feel to lose? Would you try again? Would you try to win?

Winner: How does it feel to win? Would you try to win again? Losing was not so embarrassing in this game. But why it is different in the real world?


Time, Slides and Materials

Notes for the Trainer
Compare the competition of the chairs game with competition in real life. B. Start a new game with of musical chairs. (1 - 3 groups)

This time the rules are different. When the music ends, everybody sits. If there are no seats available, you must sit on somebody’s knee. Remove 2-3 chairs. Repeat, until only one chair is left. This time the winner was the loser. Tell them another story about the time when kings lived in their castles. It was customary for the king to observe the maxim, “Ladies first.” The reason for this was in case there was an assassin lurking around the corner. Nowadays we think it is polite to open doors for ladies, but originally there was an ulterior motive behind this apparent courtesy. We have to remember that we always need people to do the dirty work. This person will “sacrifice” himself for the good of the group. Ask the winner(s) to sit in front of the audience. Ask which group they belong to. The ones that got everybody on them or the ones who decided to take responsibility for the group. General discussion. C: New game with the musical chairs

This exercise will not use any chairs. Impossible? Assemble everyone in a tight circle with each person in the group positioned belly to backside of the person ahead of them. Place your hands on the hips of the person in front of you. On the count of three, very carefully guide the person onto your knees at the same time as you very carefully sit down on the knees of the person behind you. The entire group will be sitting, without chairs. This time everybody is a winner. Discuss the importance of teamwork, faith, and participation. Why was it easier to lose here than outside of this room? Is the winner always the winner? How can we improve our personalities so that there will be more winners? How can we encourage the losers, so that we can use their energy too? What was the message of the three previous games? (Self criticism)

Group work or general discussion optional. 10 Minutes 3. THE HIGH AND THE LOW CHAIR

Take a high chair and a normal chair. Sit in the higher chair and ask the person in the lower chair to give you some criticism. It is very difficult. 7

Time, Slides and Materials

Notes for the Trainer
“The Chair.” One of the three drawings does not fit. We have a tendency to believe in things we can see. It’s very easy to believe in people who use chairs as part of their power. There are people who really believe that the bigger the chair, the stronger the person. Talk about the importance of self-criticism. How high is your chair? Everybody will lay down on the floor, close their eyes, and conduct a one- minute self-critique. “Let your mind flow, think about people around you— family, friends, colleagues. Imagine that you are sitting in a chair and you have an empty chair in front of you. Imagine that all these people will sit in this chair. How will the size of your chair change when you think of different people, or will it? Have you thanked them lately?

10 Minutes



“Things we can do with a chair.” Conduct a brainstorming session about things you can do with a chair. Is it amazing how many things we can do with a chair. The group will come up with dozens of uses in just a couple of minutes. How many of you believed that we could talk about the chair for more than an hour? . 5. SUMMARY AND CLOSING Ask everybody to sit on the floor in a big circle and give them the guides. Summarize the main ideas of these sessions. Ask questions. Session one: Sometimes we treat certain people like objects (chairs) and that’s why we do not express to them our gratitude. You should thank someone everyday. Session two: Winning and losing lives inside us. We should control this behavior better. Take care not to be used by others and also be ready to take responsibility. This will improve your personality. Always try to win; if you lose, try again.

5 Minutes


Time, Slides and Materials

Notes for the Trainer
Session three: Collaboration is a winning formula; with teamwork you can make a difference, believing that together you can find a way and even create miracles (i.e. sitting without chairs). Distribute Resolution of the chairman of my personal board. Fill in the letter. Give out envelopes and ask them to write their name and address. Ask everybody to put the letter inside the envelope. Collect the envelopes and send them by mail to participants some time in the future. Are there any other situations where they could use “The Chair”? Give certificates of attendance and thank everybody personally. If you gained any new ideas or insights, or heard funny, relevant jokes, send them to the author of this seminar. Thank you. You made it, and close the session with some positive comments


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