Communication - Timeout

Traditional Talking Stick

The atmosphere is tense there’s conflict in the air. The two tribes have been known to disagree before but recent events have led many to believe that war is inevitable. As the council members assemble two chiefs join the circle facing each other, neither saying a word. For several moments there is only silence… Then, in a burst of emotion, the group erupts with angry shouts and accusations. No one is listening and it appears violence is certain. That is until a visiting chief steps forward and raises the "Talking Stick"; suddenly the atmosphere begins to change…

It’s been around for centuries, yet few have ever heard of it. Here’s how it works. During the meeting the Indian "Talking Stick" is passed around from person to person, but only the one holding it is allowed to speak. It remains in the speaker’s possession until he feels completely understood by everyone in the group. The only exception is when the speaker might lend it to someone who is seeking to clarify their point. Once the point is clarified the stick returns to the speaker until they believe they are fully understood. Only then is it passed to the next individual.

As the tribal members pass the stick around slowly they become less combative and more cohesive. Each person feels like their view is getting a fair hearing. Before long the real source of the conflict is revealed and new solutions begin to form consequently war is avoided. In this process relationships are restored because the focus is on understanding others not just being understood.

Communication evolves providing and receiving information.

Evaluate on field (or court…) communication. Giving information (1-10) Receiving information (1-10)

Evaluate off field (or court…) communication. Giving information (1-10) Receiving information (1-10)

What are the main areas we need the most work on?

What will we do to improve communication?