This guide is meant to help you get a better sense of how to lead a Hot Seat Session. We've suggested sample phrasing that you can use to help open and guide your Squad through the conversation.
Sample Structure of Hot Seat session
Mod: Thanks everyone for joining us today. ___ is up for her turn in the Hot Seat today.
We’ll give her some time to tell us a little bit about the current challenge she’s facing
Then we’ll discuss how to approach the challenge with her
At the end, we’ll make sure ___ leaves today with some concrete goals and action steps to help her move forward
___, I’ll go ahead and turn it over to you :)
Introduces her challenge and current situation
Gives us details that help us understand context, like:
How long has this challenge been in her life?
Why does this challenge matter to the bigger picture of her life and career?
What does her gut tell her about this scenario?
Are there any underlying issues that she’d like to discuss?
Ask Hot Seater any questions that might help clarify the situation/ help us figure out what’s going on
Offer listening ear and advice, especially if:
They’ve had a similar challenge in their life
They know of any resources that may help her
They know someone who solved a similar issue in their life/ career
Mod: If the conversation does not flow after the Hot Seater presents her challenge, ask the Squad:
Do any of you have experience with a similar challenge?
Do you have any resources that might be helpful to the Hot Seater in her current situation?
Is Hot Seater approaching this challenge in a way that will help her overcome it? If not, how can we help her?
Mod (with 5 minutes left): Wrap up the session
Thank everyone for their contribution to the session today
Ask Hot Seater:
What are your 2 or 3 goals you’d like to meet in the next month or two towards figuring this out?
What are your 2 or 3 next steps to face this challenge head on?
Challenges you may face during a Hot Seat:
Your Hot Seater may struggle with any of the following:
Hot Seater’s Challenge
Ways to work through it
Unaware: Hot Seater doesn’t know her challenge
Help her figure it out by giving her prompts:
Defensive: She struggles to accept constructive feedback and leans on language that defends her perspective
Be respectful. Be mindful that oftentimes, other Squad members’ feedback or ideas could potentially trigger her -- so you may need to say things like:
Lost: Appears confused (about the session, her life, her career -- anything really)
Sometimes we all need to take a step back, so consider asking her:
Shut down: Struggles communicating, may be overwhelmed or anxious
When people shut down, feeling any sort of comfort or positivity can help them feel safer/ willing to open up. So you can try:
On rare occasions, group dynamics might be a little off:
Ways to work through it
Talking over one another/ interrupting
Not talking at all
Extremely different life or work experience levels