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Trainer’s tip: Smoking the pipe of peace


Andrew Bradbury recommends the old Native American way of encouraging listening to what others have to say.

Old Native American process - during tribal discussions one peace pipe was handed around the group, and only the person currently holding the pipe could speak. That meant that everyone else had to listen, even to the most junior member of the group.

The group could agree to move the pipe on if anyone started hogging it.

Whilst a peace pipe is no longer the ideal token for use in the process, the underlying principle still holds good and can be applied in any situation which involves a group discussion.

Warning: Many participants may initially become frustrated as they are confronted with this 'choke chain' on their normal hell-for-leather approach to 'discussions'.

In this case it may be useful to point out that a little more time spent on initial discussion will almost always save a lot more time later on.

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