Standard: Silence Cycle
Also known as: Pinakarri
It can be in a meeting in any of the ways, in the context of strategic planning or any moment that the group's dynamics call for a brief moment of silence.
The Silence Cycle is useful for grounding the group, connecting the organization with its evolutionary purpose and calming spirits within any context. It is also a great rite of passage to highlight the transition of meeting modes and to start and end any activity.
With the flow of information from day to day and the whirlwind of things that pass through our minds, we lose focus or quality of our presence during meetings.
Sometimes we are also exalted for not having our preferences met, for not having control of the situation or simply for not having rested well last night.
At other times, we cease to value small moments of collaboration and we need rituals to add meaning to the processes.
There are many situations in which a cycle of silence can be used. Here are some examples:
People speak simultaneously.
The quality of group interaction lowers and needs a short break to start over.
We are going to enter another meeting mode or end the meeting and we need a symbolic way to end the process.
We want to feel the wisdom that emerges from the evolutionary field and align our purpose.
We are designing strategies that have too much theory and participation is not balanced.
The cycles of silence are very useful to connect with the purpose of our roles and circles.
When starting any "facilitator" meeting mode, you can use a bell or some sound that has been previously allowed by the group to start and end cycles of silence.
This will create a peaceful and conducive atmosphere for cooperation.
During the cycle of silence, participants are invited to feel the weight of the body, breathe deeply and position the tongue on the palate to reduce internal dialogue.
Although similar, the cycle of silence is not a process of deep meditation and it is recommended to last no longer than 1min.
It is a cyclic ritual that can help members of an organization to connect with the purpose of its evolutionary process as human beings, community and planet.
Tips for good practice
Use a bell or something that makes a subtle sound to activate cycles of silence.
Do not confuse the cycle of silence with a request for silence.
Leave the pattern as something that can be invoked at any time by the group.
With a constant use of cycles of silence, participants are able to remain focused, well disposed and serene.
This pattern was inspired by Dragon Dreaming, a collaborative project design methodology.
The issue of language on the palate is substantiated through the research of Steven Pinker who in his book Instinct of Language raises the hypothesis that our language moves while we are thinking. This is a phenomenon known as subvocation.
Keeping the tongue on the palate helps to stop subvocalization (Internal Thoughts) because the tongue and vocal folds move regardless of whether we speak our ideas out loud. If the tongue does not move, the flow of internal thought becomes a little smoother. Of course, it is not something that will completely silence thoughts.
The cycle of silence can help to provide generative communication, open dialogue and clarity in meeting modes.
It has been used in at least 10,000 projects around the world in all types of organizations and communities. It is a well-known facilitation technique and has already been adapted to different methods such as Art of Hosting, Wisdom Council, Work That Reconnects and others.