May 20, 2014

Gestalt Techniques in Supervision and Management


Gestalt is a German word meaning “see the whole.”  Gestalt practitioners use various methods to help individuals see different aspects of a work or other problem so as to provide an opportunity to understand the whole situation and to do something positive to solve the problem.

Role Playing

For example to provide a common understanding between management and workers, role playing is arranged. Members of both the groups take turns to be members of either group and try to solve problems like increasing production, reducing costs, absenteeism etc. This role playing increases understanding of the various points of view by both managers and workers.

Physical Discomfort Symptoms

Gestalt theory also assumes that problems at work place or various other interactions are constantly shown through physical discomfort symptoms. All situations that cause physical discomfort symptoms are analyzed for their relationship or behavioral problems groups of people or supervisor-subordinate.

Mental Awareness

Exercises teach workers to become accustomed to concentrating on the present. They can be practiced regularly. Supervisors may watch their workers for lack of awareness of the present. The worker’s mind may be dwelling on past injustices or hypothetical happy future situations. Supervisor can intervene appropriately to bring the operator into the present.


Lindley R. Higgins and Ruth W. Stidger (Editors), Cost Reduction: From A to Z, McGraw-Hill, 1976, pp. 187-188.


How Gestalt theory can facilitate teaching and learning processes

20 May 1926 - Birthday of Edwin C. Nevis, a gestalt practitioner in organizational development.


Originally posted in 2utb2lsm2k7a/ 65

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