After assuming the “knee to knee” position recommended for Dialogue, whoever is moved to go first picks up the “talking stick” and proceeds to give the other an appreciation, using the following principals:
1. Talk about something that happened recently – (Be current)
2. Be specific as to what the person did or said that you appreciate;
3. Explain how what they did or said touched you, how it felt; what needs did it meet; how did it serve you?
Example: “ Last night when you did the dishes without being asked, I was so pleased and happy. I so enjoyed having the help, especially because I was so tired. And I really felt supported by your jumping in and helping out with household chores.”
Upon completion of the appreciation, the first person puts the “talking stick” down and the second person picks it up and begins their appreciation. There is no reflection after each person speaks. The Listener (receiver) just takes it in.
Upon completion of the “appreciations”, then Dialogue or Council proceeds with whomever it has been decided will speak first.
Why do “appreciations”?
Since the purpose of doing Dialogue/Council is to enhance connection, Appreciations automatically deepens connection to our own heart as well as the other’s before beginning communication. It sets the stage for listening and speaking from the heart and can smooth the way when there is tension.