Mix Up Your Meetings – part 2 (The Talking Stick)

Problem:

Your meetings are dominated by a few people who talk a lot, and there’s not a lot of listening going on.

Solution:

Use an ancient Native American tradition called “the talking stick.”

How it works is that you have some kind of decorative stick (or it could be a ball, bean bag, or bobblehead, doesn’t matter, just some kind of ‘thing’) and whoever is holding the stick has the floor to talk.  No one else can talk, they just have to listen.  When the person with the stick is done talking, they offer it up to the group and whoever wants to talk next will take the stick.  A person can keep it as long as they want, but they can’t abuse the power, if they are stingey with it and talk for too long, people are going to stop listening to them.

This helps your meeting be more controlled, relaxed, and eliminates people talking over each other and not listening.  After using the stick a few times, people will begin to pick up the habit, and they’ll start listening to each other more, even without the stick.

Is this something that might work for you?  Do you have one of those meetings in mind where you could really use something like this?

Just try it.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. A great way to listen and respect what is done together.

    You will still need someone to take care of the stick.

    Who would need the stick but is not asking for it ?
    How to ensure that the stick is not kept the same person ?

    Reply

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