What are Talking Circles?

Talking Circles are group phone calls around a specific topic. Each call is set up by a Group Leader who helps guide the conversation and pass the stick to callers so all different points of view are heard. The calls are not recorded. Members can stay anonymous if they choose. The call duration depends on the leader but are scheduled ahead of time. The length of call will determine how many people will be able to share. On average, an hour call allows for 10-12 people to share but all calls allow for up to 100 people to listen. This is designed to create a peer to peer sharing experience.

What are Sharing Circles?

Sharing Circles are where you can upload and share your stories and creative expressions with others around a specific topic by uploading your videos, audios, blogs or podcasts. You can share positive feedback with your peers through our Support Button.

Are the Talking Circles really Anonymous?

There is an ANONYMOUS box on your profile page that you can check if you prefer to be anonymous during our Talking Circles. Anonymous is how you will appear on the participant list which is only seen by the leader. We understand that anonymity allows people more freedom to share.

Do I have to talk or can I just listen?

You can just listen, there is never any pressure to talk. You will sign up ahead of time if you are interested in talking or just listening. Listening is an important part in supporting others.

What is a Talking Stick? Where does it come from?

The talking stick is a tool used in many Native American Traditions when a council or gathering is called. It allows all members to present their Sacred Point of View. The talking stick is passed from person to person as they speak and only the person holding the stick is allowed to talk during that time period. Whoever holds the talking stick has within their hands the sacred power of words.

A talking stick is used in the opening and closing of ceremonies or gatherings. It can also be used during the discussion process to ensure that all sacred voices are heard.

The role of everyone else in the circle is to listen with their hearts, to be fully present to what is being said. It can be tempting for one to begin thinking about or practicing in their head what they are going to say, so when the stick comes you are ready. In the ceremony space, we listen and speak from our heart, not from our head. Your heart knows what to say. It is our shared listening and attention that allows for more depth and clarity in the shared space. Listening is a gift to the speaker.

Listening and understanding instills respect for those in attendance. As a result, at meetings or ceremonies, no one is left out of the process unless they have no comment. This methodology becomes a shared commitment. We pass the talking stick with everyone stating their name and reason why they have come or some other specific topic relevant to the purpose of the gathering. This sets the circle for a well-intentioned meeting, even if it is for decision-making, brainstorming or conflict resolution.

We give thanks to our Ancestors for this powerful medicine.
Aho.
Sun Otter Martinico

I know TalkingStickForum does not record the calls, but can others?

It is against the law for anyone to record a call without the permission of the group.
We would love to hear from you! Please email us with suggestions for better service! support@talkingstickforum.com