Face to Face

Using the 8 ushin shapes in daily life, face to face, can help individuals and groups of people better understand each others’ perspectives.

Mutual understanding typically emerges when people slow down and take turns listening to each other. Any object can be a talking stick, to bring attention to one speaker at a time. Given enough time, and the safety of an intimate circle, there is little need for communication tools like ushin. Tools like ushin are here for those of us who need a little help to get there.

Using hands-on shapes for understanding and deliberation began as a paper mockup to demonstrate some basic uses of ushin shapes in the emergent digital prototype. People began experimenting with the shapes to support clear conversation, as a mediation tool, as a counseling aid, and to facilitate group processes. Card packets were distributed for feedback from ushin advisors in early 2016. Within the year the card shapes emerged in a variety of sizes and iterations: coasters, timers, charms, stationary, note cards, whiteboards and articles of clothing. Once people memorize the 8 kinds of communication, we sense the purpose and meaning of our own cogitations, understand others more fully – or at least know what to ask, to fill in what’s missing.

Ways to use the shapes are open and flexible.