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Protocol Toolkit Item: 8a


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Ultima Palabra (Last Word) is a self-reflection activity that allows groups to reflect and respond at the end of the meeting or session. It will enable the group to identify takeaways, build shared understanding, and increase connectedness.


  • Chart paper/white board or presentation slide
  • Markers (if needed)


10-20 Minutes


The Ultima Palabra/Last Word reflection question should be prepared before the session and based on the session topic and outcomes. The question can be displayed on poster paper, a whiteboard, or be built into a presentation slide. Virtual Implementation
  • Ultima Palabra can be done virtually by having participants share individually verbally, share in the chat, or contribute to a word cloud through an app such as Menti.
  • Breakout rooms can be used if larger groups need to be broken into small groups so all participants can share their Ultima Palabra.


Step 1:

Introduce Protocol Share the following information with participants:
  • At the end of each meeting session, we encourage a final reflection to identify takeaways and share final remarks on the day’s work.
  • The group will use a protocol called Ultima Palabra, or the Last Word, to do this reflection. The reflection is intended to lift the wisdom, knowledge, and perspectives from within the group.

Step 2:

Share the Ultima Palabra Question
  • Facilitator should share the question with the group. 
  • Some generic group reflection questions include:
    • What is one thing you learned or reflected about your team today?
    • What is your key takeaway for the day?
    • In a word, what will it take to get where we want to go?
    • Using only one word, what insights from today are you walking away with?
    • What strengths do you personally bring to this partnership?
    • With the information we reviewed today, what is your vision for the future of our work?
Allow participants 1-3 minutes to read the question and consider their individual responses. Let participants know that everyone will have an opportunity to share their Ultima Palabra.

Step 3:

Sharing Ultima Palabra
  • Depending on the size of the group and the time committed to the Ultima Palabra protocol, the group can stand and make a circle. Participants share their words, moving in order around the circle.
  • Other sharing options include:
    • Letting all participants share with the whole group from their seats.
    • Breaking larger groups into small groups, all participants share in the small groups, and each group then shares one word with the whole group.
  • When all participants have shared their Ultima Palabra, the facilitator should summarize any themes that emerge from the reflections, build upon the shared responses, and highlight the connections between the participants’ responses.
  • Thank all participants for their Ultimas Palabras
Note: Participants do not need to share unique words. It is acceptable for people to have selected the same word and repeat it when they are sharing.

Resources & Further Reading

Examples of Use

  • One adaptation to gather reflections on more specific aspects of the meeting or session is to create targeted reflection questions, post them on the walls, and have participants write their Ultima Palabra on the posters in a Gallery Walk. As participants move around the room, they read what others have written, then add their Ultima Palabra to the poster. Participants end at the poster they first wrote on and complete the protocol by reading all that has been added.
  • Other protocols that might be combined with Ultima Palabra include:
    • Shared Leadership: Puzzle Quilt
    • Shared Leadership: Ball of Yarn Network
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