2.1 Speak Up, Speak Out Conversations


Teaching Note: Focusing on our experiences as they are, rather than as they used to be or as we wish they could be is the only way to truly and accurately assess one’s personal strengths and limitations.

Core Competency: 

Talking piece – a stone, ornament or kush ball to signal the speaker.

10 minutes per dialogue prompt

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An activity that fosters self-awareness by encouraging participants to voice their emotions, personal insights and experiences.


Building self-awareness increases one’s ability to accurately recognize the influence that personal thoughts and emotions have on behavior. It helps participants recognize who they are, when they are stressed or under pressure. The better your participants understand themselves, the better able they are to accept or make change.


Gather participants in a circle and lead the class in five mindful breaths. Choose a question from the suggested list of prompts that you think will most spark a collective curiosity. Either go around the circle and let each participant respond, or pass the talking piece to someone who is eager to share their personal insights. Once all the participants have contributed, pass the talking piece around the circle once more, asking them to share what they learned from their peers. Note: You can keep track of which questions you’ve covered by placing a check mark in the box to the left of each dialogue prompt.


  1. Share a word that describes how you’re feeling right now.
  2. Name something your body does automatically without your awareness.
  3. Where in your body do you notice tension?
  4. Share something that made you smile today.
  5. Share a story about a time when you experienced frustration.
  6. Share a belief you once held as true, but have now learned to question.
  7. Tell a story of a time when taking chance led to learning something new about yourself.
  8. Name a quality that you would like to cultivate within yourself.
  9. Name a quality you have that you’d like to let go.
  10. Share about a time when you benefitted by being open to a new experience.
  11. What is something in your life that you complain about that might also be a blessing?
  12. Think of a person in your life who believes in you. Name three qualities that person sees in you.

More Activities From This Unit


rethink: recognizing emotions


rethink: acting thoughtfully


rethink: perspective taking


rethink: generating compassion


rethink: accountability & consequences

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