Let's put this one in the “sometimes-simple-works-better-than-complicated” category. The Indian “talking stick” is one of the most effective yet ultra simple methods you can use to foster better communication between family members. In fact, it is a real-world strategy that beats the pants off of fancy conventional conflict resolution techniques. I've used the talking stick myself and I challenge anyone reading this article to try it without being impressed with how simple yet effective it is.
The idea is a very simple one. Use an object, it doesn't matter what the object is; a stick set aside especially for this purpose or a feather, a crystal or a piece of jewelry. There is only one rule that must be strictly adhered to: the person who has the talking stick is allowed to express themselves WITHOUT INTERUPTION until they are satisfied they have said their piece. They can talk at their own pace and as long as they wish. Everyone else must refrain from speaking. The “stick” is passed around until everyone gets to have their say. You are allowed to do as many rounds as you need to but everyone must hold their tongue until the talking stick comes to them. Some people allow questions to be posed to the person with the stick -but ONLY questions for clarification. So it goes until your issues have been hashed out in a calm and orderly way.
After this BLOG topic ocurred to me I decided you folks might also appreciate a video. A quickie search landed me a vid of none other than Stephen Covey talking about is hand carved authentic Indian Native American talking stick! How could I resist sharing it with you good people? Enjoy!