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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Talk Time in Groups

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


March 21, 2016

Project Aristotle, at Google, studied factors that contributed to successful work groups. The only common variable found across success teams was that they had well established norms. Two norms, specifically were identified in the successful norms. This week we consider the first one, “equality in distribution of conversational turn-taking.” In simple terms, members speak in about the same amount. In the norms of collaboration in Adaptive Schools we refer to this as balanced participation and teach a variety of strategies to ensure equitable opportunities to provide input. Like Google found, it doesn’t mean everyone talks the same amount of times in a meeting, but over time, participation is proportionately distributed. For instance, one may have little to say in one meeting and a lot to say in another.

Consider a group you work with over time. What are you aware of about how talk time is shared? How might you collect data about that? What might be some strategies to increase consciousness about this norm?

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