CHAPTER 3

THE POWER OF THE EMPTY CHAIR | PERSPECTIVE TAKING

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, frequently leaves one open seat at the company’s most important meetings. It’s there to remind executives and managers of the most important person in the room—the customer. Many organizations have emulated Amazon’s empty chair practice. But if the people at the meeting don’t have cultural intelligence, it’s unlikely the chair will be of much benefit. The participants will simply assume the person represented by the empty chair values what they do. And if everyone in the meeting comes from the same cultural background, it’s going to be tough to get a grasp of the preferences and opinions of the customer. So go ahead and add an empty chair to your ...

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