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Succeed with learning
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2.2 How can you get another perspective?

There are some well-established approaches that do not need someone else to be present and which are intended to help us think about what other people might have to say about us.

Using the empty chair to gain another perspective
Figure 4 Using the empty chair to gain another perspective

Perhaps the best known is the empty-chair technique. This involves imagining that someone is sitting in the ‘empty chair’ and then imagining what they would have to say to us if they were actually present.

In therapy, this is intended to make up for things that were not discussed in the past, but which should have been. In the context of Succeed with learning, you could adapt the empty-chair technique to imagine what feedback on your skills, qualities and knowledge someone you trust would give you.

You have unlimited scope to decide who your mentor might be. You could, for example, take one of the case-study subjects and imagine that they are giving you feedback. Alternatively, you could choose someone for whom you have great respect or affection – even if you do not know them. The point is that the empty-chair technique can help you explore ideas from a perspective that will be different from your own.