The 5 Chairs - Louise Evans


Time and again, it has been proven that companies that embrace diversity, equity and inclusion outperform their peers in essential areas of business performance such as innovation, employee engagement, retention and profitability.

A diverse workplace however doesn’t automatically result in an INCLUSIVE CULTURE. Today, diversity is a fact but inclusion is a choice, a choice which requires conscious commitment towards integration.

The 5 Chairs is the perfect tool to enable this integration. It encourages people to make new choices about what behaviors are appropriate to promote inclusive actions. It provides a system of thinking and conversing for individuals and teams to help transform unproductive ‘toxic’ behaviors into effective inclusive collaboration.

When an organization adopts the 5 Chairs methodology it also creates a SHARED ‘language of inclusion’ which invites everyone in the workforce to take more individual responsibility and move towards more constructive and inclusive behavior patterns.

This in turn helps unlock the empathic potential of the workforce.

Clients who have chosen our program have noticed an impressive improvement of inclusive awareness and behaviors in their organization.

The benefits are myriad:


Changing behaviors takes time, It involves understanding, practicing and applying new ways of thinking, communicating and relating. For this reason our program ‘The Road to Inclusion’ consists of a combination of delivery styles over time:

At the center of the Road to Inclusion program is the powerful transformational tool, The 5 Chairs, which is designed to significantly increase inclusive behaviours across organisations. HOW? In 3 phases:

Phase One – Identification

Self-awareness and the ability to recognise the impact of our own behaviors on others is a foundational skill to being more inclusive. The more we are able to recognise and label our own non-inclusive behaviors, the more we can detect them in others and decide how to deal with them both assertively and empathically.

The 5 Chairs is designed to act as a mirror to our attitudes and behaviors and is therefore the perfect tool to develop the self-awareness and self-regulation necessary for real inclusivity.

Cultural self-awareness is also key. We must be able to look clearly at our culture(s) and ask, “where are we on our journey to becoming optimally inclusive and ultra-performing?” Very often we find executives and managers answer this question very differently from the way employees do further down the ladder.

Phase 2 – Appropriate Response

In the real world you will find yourself in 3 potential scenarios:

  1. WITNESS – When you witness exclusionary behaviors happening to other people and need to decide how to react appropriately, whether to disrupt the behavior or not and how
  2. INITIATOR – When you offend another person, either intentionally or unintentionally, and how to receive feedback about the impact of your behavior
  3. RECEIVER – When you are the subject of an aggression and need to decide how to respond appropriately to the aggression in an effective and assertive way.

Depending on the situation you find yourself in, Phase 2 of the program addresses the appropriate ways to conduct yourself in order to handle and call out non-inclusive behaviors in an assertive and respectful way.

Phase 3 – Practice, practice, practice

In our mind, no program is truly effective unless some form of transformation takes place within the individual. Our mission therefore at The 5 Chairs is to deliver ‘transformation’ not information. To that end we concentrate on:

a) Creating powerful immersive learning experiences

b) Designing emotionally experiential activities

c) Adopting coaching style methodology

d) Adopting coaching style methodology

We constantly encourage people to then go out into the world and experiment with the tools and practices we offer.

‘I was very impressed by the 5 Chairs tool and in particular the way it brings your awareness to the fact that we tend to judge too lightly and easily, creating a barrier to collaboration and consequently to inclusion. The 5 chairs is a great tool to “visualise” yourself within a scaled context and put in place corrective actions that can help improve your approach to others by “moving” to the chair of connection.’



Building a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization requires courage and commitment. It involves changing the behaviors of leaders and their teams and tackling head on the inbuilt bias which exists across organizational cultures.

Building a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization requires courage and commitment. It involves changing the behaviors of leaders and their teams and tackling head on the inbuilt bias which exists across organizational cultures.



The 5 Chairs welcomes anyone whose ambitions are to know themselves better, live to their full potential and generate happiness and success for themselves and others. We work with all generations, all professions and all cultures. We also support leaders who are responsible for the individual and collective behaviors of those they lead.

If this sounds like you, fill out this form to speak directly to Louise Evans

The 5 Chairs - Louise Evans