What is Circle?
Circle (also referred to as "council" or "circle"), is a social structure where people gather together for a shared purpose or intention to engage in meaningful speaking and respectful listening. This communication process is governed by commonly shared values, principles and practices which are essential to help create a safe and comfortable space (unlike other social spaces), in which we can engage in a deeper way with each other. One practice is the use of a talking piece to aid communication: the person holding the piece does the talking while everyone else listens, the piece is passed around from person to person until everyone has had an opportunity to contribute if they so choose to. Another key component of Circle is deep thought-provoking questions put forward to empower self-reflective story-telling and meaningful sharing. The process is egalitarian; leadership is rotated and shared in a way that each person present is invested and responsible for the direction the group takes.
Essentially, the essence of Circle is to create space and time for everyone to have a say, be seen & heard, and listened to respectfully.
Circle is an exceptional process for numerous contemporary purposes including: relationship-building, consulting, conflict resolution & peace-making, creating community, decision-making, brainstorming, group forming, honouring rites of passage & celebrations, 'talk' therapy or group support, empowering self-awareness & well-being, and more.
Circle is a useful tool to aid effective communication (a.k.a meaningful speaking & respectful listening where everyone is included), to empower group synergy & collaboration, to build healthy relationships between individuals, and support our group's vision & purpose - in a variety of settings including: at home, at work, in the classroom, at community group meetings, group socials, etc. Basically, anywhere where people come together for a shared purpose.
Above all, if truth be known, one can not simply read about Circle to appreciate it– to understand the value of Circle one must experience it! We may not be aware of the total sum of what’s going on in Circle such as its transformative properties until we have come out of the experience of Circle (again and again). See for yourself, Call a Circle!
Universal Circle Values
Speak with intention
Speak your truth
Self-monitor your contribution
Practice respect for others
Practice respect for diversity
Everyone adds something valuable to the process
Collective wisdom is achieved by teamwork
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