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Speaking, talking, hearing and listening: how can we make sure that we are communicating with each other fairly, clearly and considerately?

At the last meeting of The Game Kitchen there was a discussion about speaking as a group, and about ways of ensuring that everyone’s voice was heard, in an overall mood of safety. These are the guidelines that were drawn up, and that we will try to observe during future group conversations:

  • speak and listen in a spirit of love and trust;
  • don’t interrupt when someone’s speaking. Hear them out;
  • if you want to make a brief clarifying point or to ask a clarifying question, raise a finger, and the speaker may call upon you and then resume;
  • if you want to make a point of your own, raise a hand and the speaker may call upon you once they’ve finished their point;
  • to indicate agreement while someone’s speaking, use silent clapping (aka. ‘jazz hands’);
  • if you’d like a subject to be immediately dropped, say “Cut”. You need not explain your reasons, and no blame of any kind will attach;
  • if you’d like a subject ‘slowed down’ – treated less concretely, less forcefully, less heatedly, etc – say “Brake”. Again you need not explain your reasons, and no blame of any kind will attach;
  • seek to involve in the discussion people who seem as though they might be being excluded from it (while recognizing that they may have their own private reasons for being quiet).

Thanks everyone for understanding and cooperation!

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