Identify a space where group members can place themselves along a line. The two ends of the line represent polar opposites: agreement, disagreement, ‘I would/I wouldn’t’. Present a clear statement or scenario 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 other’s’ perspectives. Encourage to say ‘I think that…’ or ‘I feel that…’. Everyone should speak for themselves.
Ask participants to explain why they have stood where they are; encourage brief, snappy responses. If the group is large, invite participants to discuss with those near them why they have chosen to stand where they have; this helps everyone to participate and voice their position, even if there isn’t time to hear everyone in the full group.
Variation: ‘Cross spectrum’: effectively, two spectrums on different axes.
Possible: labelling ends ‘violent/nonviolent’ and ‘effective/ineffective’.
Going through a range of action scenarios; participants have to decide to what degree they think an action is violent/nonviolent etc. As above ask participants to say why they stood where they did. Use examples that might be controversial.
Participants might be tempted to immediately move into a discussion after the first person has explained why they have stood where they are. Watch for this – if it happens, ask participants to complete the sentence “I am standing here because…”.