A talking circle, is a method used by a group to discuss a topic in an egalitarian and non-confrontational manner. The group members sit in a circle and comment on the topic of discussion following a small number of rules:
- Only the person holding a specific object — such as a talking stick — may speak.
- An effort is made to listen as you would want to be listened to when you are speaking.
- The talking stick passes around the circle.
Ideally everybody forms a seated circle shoulder-to-shoulder, so that they can see each other's faces, including those on either side of them. This becomes impractical for large circles and folks may be nested 3 or more deep so that everyone is close enough to hear.
Each person is given the opportunity to speak in turn, by passing an object around the circle. The person holding the object speaks. As the speaker completes their turn, they pass the object to their neighbor, who may speak or may, in silence, pass the object on.