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Talking stick

Aim of the tool 
To share observations or reflections within a group. A "talking stick" is passed around in a circle, and only the person holding it, is allowed to talk.

When to use it? 
This tool is suitable if you want a group to listen to share and listen to each other without discussion or dialogue. It is a nice, quiet way for everybody to say a few words.

How difficult is it to use it? 
Easy – moderate – for experienced users/facilitators

Tool for thought or tool for action? 
Tool for thought and for action

Description and resources
The ‘talking stick’ or ‘speaker’s staff’, is an instrument of indigenous democracy used by many tribes, especially native people of the Northwest coast of North America. The talking stick may be passed around a group or used only by leaders as a symbol of their authority and right to speak in public. The tool is described in detail in the Practical Guide for Reflection Methods. Alternatively, you can take a look at the video below:



Gordijn, F., Eernstman, N., Helder, J., Brouwer, H. (2018). Reflection Methods. Practical Guide for Trainers and Facilitators. Tools to make learning more meaningful. Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen University & Research.