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Quote for the Day

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Using Quote to inspire team and promote trust.



To encourage dialogue about the wisdom we are discovering in working or learning together and to help a group receive permission (and perhaps vocabulary) to talk with one another about their personal wisdom, experience and development.

We use this for longer workshops and training, varying the quote each time. It can also be used for the opening of regular meetings. The trust developed in such a short dialogue can also carry over into the working sessions in the course of a programme.





    Ideal conditions: relaxed atmosphere at the beginning of a meeting or after a break.

    Pre-Work Required: The quote on a flipchart or white board, or in a presentation slide



    1. Post a quote before the group on a projector or flip chart, write a simple quotation or short poem that has some relationship (however tangential) with the kind of activity taking place in the group. For a new department, something perhaps about the future. For a change workshop, maybe a quote about change. It can be nice to include a graphic or a sketch illustrating the quote.


    1. Introduce the quote by reading it loud or ask someone in the group to do so. Give them a second to look at it. For groups weak in the language of instruction, begin by introducing any peculiar vocabulary, and give the group a chance to figure out together what the words mean.

    2. Ask some questions like:

    • What do you notice in this phrase?
    • What does this quote remind you of?
    • How can you say this in your own words? (What is it talking about?)
    • Do you have any saying like this in your language? (Give the group a chance to discuss this.)
    • What does this quote have to say about our work?
    • When might you say this?
    • To whom?

    Some tried and true quotations include:
    "It doesn't work to leap a 20 foot chasm in two 10 foot jumps."
    "Action removes the doubt that theory cannot solve."
    "After bliss, the Laundry?"


    Follow-Up Required: none

    Usual or Expected Outcomes: Deeper insight into the thinking of colleagues.

    Potential pitfalls: Bad quotes

    How success is evaluated: The group listens to and reflects on the ideas of others.


    Source: Jon Jenkins

    Derived from: It is based on the Focused Conversation Method of the Institute of Cultural Affairs.

    History of Development: A similar method was used in daily staff meetings of the Institute of Cultural Affairs.

    Comments (2) (4.0 avg / 1 ratings)

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    • I have used this Quote: “Minds are like parachutes, they function only when open.” in a workshop with a team embarking on process change. It sets the right tone for the follow-up activities!

      almost 2 years ago
    • Inspirering! I like the intercultural pespective!

      almost 5 years ago