Talks from the heart

For this exercise you need ample floor space. The exercise helps to overcome shyness especially with regard to emotional talks. Although these conversations are difficult, they can also be very fruitful to the participants. Before starting a conversation about sensitive issues, it is important that you as the facilitator has given the subject in question some thought in advance.

Before the conversation begins, create a heart shape on the floor using a long piece of rope. The heart must be big enough to contain a card from each participant. Lay out the Dialoogle Magnum cards outside of the heart. You are allowed to use more than one set of Magnum cards.

  1. Introduce the difficult topic, e.g. grief, abandonment, self-esteem, inviting the participants to speak from the heart and express their emotions. Ask all participants to choose an image that relates to the topic.
  2. Ask the participants who would like to be the first to present their card. Sharing may be difficult at first, but it gets easier. When a participant has finished their presentation, ask them to place their card on the floor inside the heart.
  3. When four or five participants have presented their cards, ask if anyone has any additions or questions. All participants are free to ask questions when a presentation is over and the card has been placed in the heart ‘puzzle’.
  4. If the conversation comes to a halt, you can ask a support question, such as: ”Try to find a card illustrating your personal feelings about the subject.”
  5. When interesting views are introduced, encourage elaboration by asking questions like: “Does anyone perceive this differently?” or “What do you think is the reason for your point of view?”. If some of the participants are still reluctant to take part, try asking them directly whether they can find a place in the ‘puzzle’ where their individual card fits in with the previously discussed images.
  6. Put aside the cards outside of the heart shape. Ask the participants to stand around the heart and look at what the cards express as a whole. Ask them what they see.
  7. Ask a volunteer to stand next to the card that symbolises ways of showing love, solicitude, recognition or other things that the participants have discussed and deemed important. Once the volunteer has presented their choice, the next participant can choose a card.
  8. When the topic has been discussed thoroughly, ask the participants to choose an image each that represents what they have gained from the discussion.
  9. Tell the participants that they can download their chosen image free of charge from the Dialoogle website and use it as a reminder of the results of the exercise.

Divide the heart into two equal halves if you want to categorize/nuance the statements, e.g. if they have had large or little meaning, or it is about faith or facts. You can let the group determine where the picture cards are to be placed.



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