In 1991, the Center launched an action-oriented development program called LeaderLab,® which uses, in addition to traditional methods like classroom work and feedback, techniques which help participants experience themselves and others in unaccustomed ways. One of these techniques, called the touchstone exercise, asks participants to think about their experiences in the program and, using a variety of materials, create an object that will remind them of what they most want to focus on in their workplaces. They then write about its meaning in a “learning journal,” and if they wish, verbally share the story with the whole participant group.

The purpose of this paper is to describe the touchstone exercise and to give examples of its ...

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