Your “Three-Foot Circle”
By Admin

August 18, 2011

(The term “Three Foot Circle” is copyright, Champion Personnel System/ Robert Schepens and trademarked.)

Your Three-Foot Circle:

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It is where you live. It contains your perspectives on life, the world around you, your opinions, and your “do’s and don’ts. Your “lens on the world” is attached to it. on chihuahua essay for
Inside your three-foot circle is a translation device. It converts all you see and hear to language you understand. It interprets the outside world to terms and concepts that fit within Your World. The device is built upon your logic and rules.

It is your safe place, the cardboard box you climbed into as a child, and it contains your dreams, your fears, and your pleasures.

It is where you hide the idea that YOU should be understood, first and only, and that other people or ideas are simply inconsequential to your life.

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And now it will be the one comfortable place that will stop your development, stop your learning, and stop those who wish to connect with you, from actually connecting.

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Or … it will be a highly flexible circle, capable of expanding to encompass others, new concepts and ideas that just very well might expand who you are, the impact you have on others and the impact they can have on you.

With a Three-Foot Circle that is expandable, you might change and grow.

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But you will need to reject some of your early training and some of the fears you have, and in many ways the influences you have received that whomever you are today, whatever your thoughts are and whatever your pre-conceived ideas of your Self are, those may be resisting your future growth, and happiness.

Change is met with resistance by many of us who think that who we are today is sufficient.

We have all learned this in many ways, but our kids (or you) learned it from Mr. Rogers:

“You always make it a special day for me. You know how, don’t you? By just your being you. Whether you’re in kindergarten or third grade or no grade at all or ANY grade at all, I like you just the way you are. I’ll be back tomorrow. Bye.”

Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood was a baby-sitting substitute when the kids needed calming or we just needed our own space. The program was mesmerizing to kids. And…we should have watched along with them. Big mistake that we did not.

“Don’t Ever Change!”. “We love you just the way you are!” Live in a fantasy land and everything will be okay. (And, “don’t talk to strangers!!!”) In other words: Stay in your three-foot circle! Don’t venture out, but when you do, it will all be a make-believe world.

Personal growth comes when you flex your three-foot circle to include others’, and therefore to expand your own reach. It changes and expands your world view and allows you to understand other points of view, new ideas and new realities. You may discover new ways to live and think, and more often than not, have new “ah-ha” moments.

From Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, Habit #5:

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood”.

It is the core to expanding your Three-Foot Circle. It is your calling to grow.

And you know those people whose circle is wide: They are the ones who first ask: “So, what do YOU think?”

An organization with many people who have expandable, flexible circles, is on its way to being a Great Workplace.

(First in a series of articles, and a book of the same name)




  1. Hadia Ihmaidat

    Thanks for sharing this great idea. I thought to mention Taiichi Ohno, the founder of the Toyota Production System, had several famous techniques involving Genchi Genbutsu. One was the three-foot circle. If an engineer had an idea for improving the production line, Ohno would take the engineer to the production floor. He would then draw a circle a few feet in diameter and make the engineer stand there and watch the process for a few hours. After that, if the engineer still thought the idea was a good one, then they would begin planning to implement it. I do not think Ohno meant to restrict or prevent us from expnading, but Exactly what you’ve already mentioned is to ”seek first to understand what is going around us, then to be understood”….