IAF Methods

Circle Discussion

by for . Last edit was over 3 years ago
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A Circle Discussion is where each person speaks uninterrupted on a topic in turn around a circle.

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Additional info

Goal

To have participants all have an equal opportunity to speak on a topic, and to hear the patterns that emerge.

Attachments

You will be able to upload attachments once after you create the method.

Materials

  • None

Instructions

Before

Setting: None

Pre-Work Required: Create a clear statement of the topic or focus question.

During

Set ground rules of respect and listening to understand, without arguing. Each person speaks uninterrupted. Ask people to listen for common patterns.

Introduce the question or topic.

Go around the group, soliciting ideas from each person in turn.

Go around the group several times as necessary.  People may change their perspective as they hear others. 

Intervene only if the ground rules are violated.

Ask someone (often an elder or a leader)  to summarize what they've heard the group saying.

After

Follow-Up Required: none

Background

Source: Jo Nelson

Derived from: Indigenous North American cultural "talking stick" process 

One of the tools listed in the "Meeting Tools" compendium compiled by Jo Nelson and available on the IAF website

Alternative names: also known as Go Around, Round Robin, Talking Stick

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