Chairs of Power

Chairs of power people 2The “Chairs of Power” tool opens up discussions of the dynamics of power, helping participants see the various ways power is shaped, how it can shift, and even opening up challenges to prevailing understandings of what power is and what we as individuals or as groups should strive for in relation to power.

Click here for facilitation instructions from Training for Change.

Basically there are three stages.


Chairs of power empty 2First, invite discussion about the empty chairs–which is the most powerful, and why?






DSC00839 - Version 2Second, put people in the chairs, specifically those who spoke out first for each chair in the discussion.  How does having specific people in the chair change our awareness of power?





Chairs of power change 2Third, invite each one in the chairs to move their chair in such a way as to increase their power.  After each move, invite the larger group to comment about what they noticed, then the others in the 3 chairs, and finally the person who moved.  Let each person make a move.  Then you can invite anyone from the larger group to take the place of one of the people in a chair and show a different action, debriefing in the same way.

DSC00851 - Version 2DSC00838 - Version 2