A year in review: The Circle Way stories and tips

As 2017 ends we're providing “a year in review” of the monthly blogs and tips to catch the rich diversity in how The Circle Way is showing up around the world.

January 2017 – Men in Circle

Tenneson Woolf (USA) shares what he has learned from his experiences having men in circle.  Current world events suggest that his invitation then is more urgent now: The circle is for men too. Never doubt it. This is a call to men. Men, please hear it. Join in circle. Make it part of you. Make it part of your leadership. Be part of an evolving and available healthy masculine. Listen. Share. Discover. Be moved. Be moving.  

Tips: Check-In Questions (a component of The Circle Way) 

February 2017 – The Circle Way for Social Activism

How can circle be convened as a place to be together in troubling times, to safely share enough about what matters?  As practitioners, how do we build courage to host these spaces in response to the depth of the world’s need for this timeless form and practice?  Katharine Weinmann (Canada) shares her story and offers practice tips.

Tips: Using the Circle for Social Activism

March 2017 – The Power of the Pause (a component of The Circle Way) 

Shirley Lynn Martin (Canada) created the Peace Circle, a “hybrid” of The Circle Way, emerging from her unique set of life experiences, professional training, and gifts. Here she shares her story of lessons learned when the bell is rung in circle.

Tips: Tending to endings, from Beth Sanders (Canada), inspired by watching the Broadway hit "Hamilton"

April 2017 – The Four Fold Practice in The Circle Way

Like many in our global community, Olivier Winghart (Sweden, France) is a practitioner of both The Circle Way and the Art of Hosting.  In this month’s story, he shares how a mainstay of the Art of Hosting practice, The Four Fold Practice, shows up in The Circle Way.

Tips: The Outer Rim and Personal Practice (a component of The Circle Way) 

May 2017 –  The Birth of Listening Cafés

Another iteration of The Circle Way created in response to social shifts, Sofia Bustamante (UK) shares how she used circle conversation as a compassionate, community-making response to the Brexit vote. A bold and simple social action becomes a movement, Listening Cafés.

Tips: Taking Circle Conversations into Public Spaces

June 2017 – Opening the Heart of Community

Reverend Patricia Bass (USA) was committed to helping the people in her spiritual community open their hearts to go deeper into the love that they are.  Her application of several The Circle Way components led to Calling the Circle, a practice to create a sacred container for all of the spiritual work of her ministry.

Tips: Enlivening the Circle’s Centre with Artifacts (a component of The Circle Way)

July 2017 – The Power of Large Circles

How big can a circle be and still be effective? Matthias zur Bonsen (Germany), Jutta Herzog (Germany) and Myriam Mathys (Switzerland), known in Europe for their large group facilitation skills, tell us how they hosted circles for three hundred people, as a stakeholder engagement process for a faith community.

Tips: Hosting Large Circles using The Circle Way

August 2017 – Using Circle Practice with School Leaders

To embed The Circle Way within a large public school district, cohorts of district leaders and consultants have been trained in the practice to support the creation of respectful spaces for conversation and learning, from classrooms to staff rooms. Joanne Bergos (Canada), supervisor of the district’s leadership development services, describes how she uses The Circle Way in her monthly support and learning meetings with new principals.

Tips: Getting Started with Start Points (a component of The Circle Way)

September 2017 – Hosting Circle Online

Amy Lenzo (USA) writing of her experience cohosting a global online learning event of The Circle Way, reminds us that “what happens between us online is as real as what happens when we meet in a room. Remembering that and evoking it in the groups we host in an online environment is perhaps one of the most revolutionary things we can do.”

Tips: Hosting and Participating in Online Circles

October 2017 – Using Circle to Meaningfully Recognize Hospice Volunteers (components of The Circle Way)

Kathy Ratchford (Canada) applied principles and practices from The Circle Way to create a table conversation process at the dinner paying tribute to hospice volunteers.  While typically listening well to others, this time, volunteers received the gift of good listening as they shared meaningful stories about their work at the hospice.

Tips: Using Circle with People Unfamiliar with Circle Conversations

November 2017 – A Circle of Support for Female Leaders in Education (components of The Circle Way)

What began as a response to an emerging leader feeling alone and overwhelmed, became a three-year circle of support and camaraderie for women who lead in public education.  Former school principal Kathy Toogood (Canada) discovered “there is something sacred and wonderful that happens when female leaders come together in a circle to speak their truth and bear witness to each other: they become more fully themselves, finding their voice, and the courage to act on their values and priorities.”

Tips: Calling a Circle and Building Support Among Leaders

December 2017 – Circle in Rugby

Mark Forrester (Australia) shares his story of using circle practice in his role as a rugby coach, working with all levels from amateur to elite players. Mark has found the circle provides a forum for players to call each other on matters that challenge their behaviour, give each other feedback and have conversations they wouldn’t normally have. 

Tips: What's In Your Circle Kit?

Photo by  Brigitte Tohm  on  Unsplash

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

If The Circle Way has made a difference in your life, we'd love to hear from you. These practice stories feed our learning fire and inspire the next generation of practitioners. 

Looking forward to next year's monthly stories and practice tips!