Way of Council – Effective Communication

Here at ‘Wild and Home’ we use the practice of Council as a structure and way for participants to express themselves and to allow for effective communication within groups. For thousands of years we have sat in a circle, told, acted out, sang and heard stories. It was a place to gather wisdom from others as well as the opportunity for us to speak and be witnessed. To hear our own wisdom too. A time for our individual voices to be heard within our community. This way of being together and interacting more deeply with each other, provisioned a framework and method of actually learning how to listen and doing that well.

It’s not therefore conversation. That is where we are often planning what to say before the other person or persons have even finished. Council is not what normally happens in a boardroom meeting or a heated argument either. Yet Council is a place where we can express what matters, to us, to others and what needs to be heard.

Council is a place where we can express what matters

It is a seemingly rare opportunity to encounter another human fully. Without judgement, letting them speak without interruption, to express who they are and what needs to be seen or heard. Whether that is with our work colleagues, family or friends. We want to be heard, be witnessed, it is essential even. To be ‘seen’ alters how we are with each other – the how we relate. Council gives us the space and time to communicate what is within us and knowing that we are being listened to.

Effective communication starts with intentions

Sitting in council doesn’t have any rules as such, only intentions. The starting intention is that only the person holding the talking piece, speaks. This object can be highly ceremonial or simply a box of matches. The attributes of its shape, colour or texture may even inspire, acting as an impetus to what is to be spoken. For those sitting in the circle, it is now time to simply listen, deeply.

Both speaking and listening in council is best practiced from the heart. When it is our time to express ourselves, it is not the time to be all philosophical or to ramble but to be succinct, to get to the heart of the matter. Another intention is to be spontaneous, so there is no need to script what we want to say before we hold the talking piece and also we don’t edit what we say either. This allows the necessary flow of the words or actions that come from those deeper parts of ourselves. Places we often don’t go to or even let others into.

Yet expressing in the Way of Council can allow us to make sense of our feelings even if previously we haven’t worked out what we are feeling or what matters to us. The articulation of our thoughts and feelings in the moment, in the Way of Council, can be insightful and illuminating. To both she/he who holds the talking piece and to those others sitting in circle.


Learning and using Council in all relationships can be beneficial. We offer the opportunity to work with you be that for personal relationships, commercial or educational establishments. Way of Council facilitates more open and stronger communications between working groups, teams or couples.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements.