Steps for the Activity

Ultimately the way the outside world understands us will depend on the actions we take as individuals and sharing these stories is a great first step. This activity helps us uncover and share our own and each other's acts of courage and to understand the different forms courage can take - what is courageous for me might look very different to what is courageous for you. This is a great activity to do in smaller groups - ideally breakouts of 8-10 people with a facilitator in each group and have everyone sitting in a circle.
  1. (5 minutes) Ask these questions to the group and have them reflect silently, not responding out loud. Tell them to make notes if they wish.
    • What comes to mind when you think about courage?
    • What feelings and behaviours does it bring up for you?
    • What images come into your head?
    • What story from your own experience would capture your own understanding of courage?
  2. The facilitator then sets up the exercise using the instructions below:
    • The goal is to bring us into your experience of courage in as much detail as you can by telling a story about courage. It can be funny or serious very quick or up to 90 secs long. They should be real and true stories from a personal experience - your own experience of courage or a time when you witnesses courage in someone else.
    • The idea is to tell the story and then stop before you discuss the meaning of the story or your own personal lessons taken from the story. Simply tell the story and stop. Allow others to hear it.
    • You may change your story when you hear what others have to say,they may prompt another story or experience. For the rest of us, who are not telling the story, the goal is to offer our undivided attention and listening skills.
    • We use a talking stone (or pen, or book, or whatever). When you have the talking stone you have the floor. Otherwise your job is to listen. Once you’ve finished your story put the talking stone back in the centre of the circle, wait for the silence to fall again.
  3. (20 minutes) The group tell their stories. When someone feels ready to speak they pick up the talking object and tell their story. When they have finished they put the object back in the circle and the next person goes. Not everyone has to tell a story, go with the group. This is not the moment for discussion, it is simply one person telling a story and the others listening. Let the stories run for about 20 minutes.

  4. (10 minutes) Debrief: Having heard people’s stories, get the group to spend a couple of minutes jotting down some notes about what they heard, what they learnt about the topic, or about stories etc. As a group have a discussion about the themes that emerged and jot these down on a flip chart so you can share back with the other groups.


  • Pen
  • Post-its
  • Flip Chart
  • Paper
  • Talking Object (pen, stone, shell, lipstick, keyring - anything you like)


Try to avoid to much discussion when the storytelling is happening. This comes later. Once the group have shared their stories have them share back the themes that emerged from listening to the stories - what surprised them? what moved them? What themes came up around courage?