The restorative justice talking piece: Tangible and physical, abstract and soulful.
from Kris Miner's entry on Restorative Justice & Circles:
(The Talking Piece) is one of the most powerful communication tools I’ve ever seen, because, while it is tangible and physical, it embodies a concept that is powerfully synergistic.,,,Once each of the parties feels understood an amazing thing usually happens. Negative energy dissipates, contentions evaporate, mutual respect grows, and people become creative. New ideas emerge.
I used the above quote on a little pamplet I made for student leaders. Yesterday I pulled it out to add the quote to a powerpoint I was working on. The evening before I was in a really powerful transformative Circle. As I looked at the quote again I realized how powerful the talking piece really is.
It’s a core element of a Circle, with a capital C, Circle, in my opinion. I know we can seat people in a circle facing each other, but Kay Pranis in all three of her books, lists the talking piece as an element of a Restorative Justice Circle.
The ‘talking piece’ is physical as Covey points out. There is also so much that is invisible about a talking piece. The talking piece signifies equality and respect. Everyone will get the opportunity to hold the piece. People are invited to share equally, what a person shares or if they share is at their own discresion. The invitation is extended equally.
Respect is embodied in a talking piece, you have people giving witness to your words when you have it. There is a responsibility an obligation to select wise words. I often call it using our “wisest words”, when we speak from the heart.
Read the whole entry.