Name: Spectrum or Barometer
Time: 10 minutes per statement, more if needed, less if there is clear agreement
Goal or purpose of the exercise:
To see and hear the spectrum of people's thoughts on an issue and to take a barometer reading of where a group stands on a statement.
How it's done/Facilitators note
Identify a space where group members can place themselves along a line. One end of the spectrum represents 'agreement', the other end 'disagreement' (these words can be posted at each end as a reminder). Present a clear statement (one idea, not more than a sentence or two), and ask people to stand in a place on the spectrum that represents how they feel about it. Make it clear that there are no 'right' or 'wrong' answers, just different opinions, and that it is important to listen to each other and try to understand each others' perspectives. Ask some people to explain why they are standing where they are; explain that people can be 'moved' by what they hear. Allow time for discussion.
If agreement is needed (e.g., for Nonviolence Guidelines) and there is wide range of disagreement, ask a few people from either end of the spectrum to get together and and see if they can rewrite the statement in hopes of reaching agreement.
Examples of statements: