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Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Contributed by

This method is intended to empower participants, create trust, and evoke personal narratives and perspectives about their identities using an appreciative inquiry approach.


Participants are asked to describe the activities/tasks, positive qualities, and abilities of another in a group. By asking them to describe another, they can express observations and nuances that they might not feel comfortable sharing when talking about themselves. When used with vulnerable communities that don’t feel confident in their own worth, opinions, and capacities, this activity could be useful to identify what tasks are being done and how. It can be useful to foster collaboration and increase self-esteem.

Version 2

An alternate version designed by Angela Moriggi of Re-imaginary is called “Beaming Qualities” and involves a small group of 3-5 people. Each person starts by writing their name in the center of a pre-cut bright orange circle. Next, each person writes down three qualities that they appreciate about themselves and 2-3 qualities for each other person. Each quality is then written on a yellow strip of paper and given to the person that it describes. Each person takes all of the qualities and arranges them around the orange circle in the shape of a sunshine. They can be glued to another piece of paper or photographed.


  1. Ask everyone in the group to form pairs and stand face-to-face with their partner.
  2. For the first minutes, participants will stand in silence and look into each other’s eyes.
  3. Next, participants take turns talking about the other’s positive qualities, what their differences are, and what tasks and responsibilities they have in the community.
  4. Depending on the the level of trust in the group, each pair can share with the larger group, or can share in the form of an interview with the facilitator.

Method contributed by RECOMS (Resourceful and Resilient Communities)

illustration by Réka Livits (visualive.eu)
Place on U
15 minutes - 1 hour
Materials Needed
Online Engagement
Care & Empathy
Emotional Intelligence
Tip and Experiences
  • The listener shouldn’t interrupt, but after their “mirror” is finished, they can ask clarifying questions and thank their “mirror.” They might also share which qualities that they hope to develop in the future.
Relevant References & Resources

Method inspired by Recoms creative methods seminar and by Angela Moriggi

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