Exercise: Talking stick

Talking stick is an excellent way to promote better and deeper dialogue. If you need to slow down the pace of a discussion, to make room for more reflection and listening, consider trying it. It’s really simple. Basically, you find a stick (or some other object), and whoever holds the stick can speak, everybody else listens. When you’ve finished talking, you can put down the stick (for somebody else to pick up), or you can hand it to somebody, allowing that person to speak.

It sounds almost too simple to work, but it does. It usually has several effects:
People listen more to what is being said, in stead of waiting for their turn to speak.
People don’t talk too much. If you’re constantly holding the stick, you’ll notice, and pass it on.
The pace of the discussion slows.
There’s less disagreement.

There’s a detailed description of talking stick here.

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