Tips: using circle with people unfamiliar with circle conversations

This month’s blogger, Kathy Ratchford, shares some useful tips for using The Circle Way with people unfamiliar with circle conversations, in an unusual space!

1.     Use the online resources and social media support – Both The Circle Way Practitioners and The Art of Hosting private Facebook groups provided support and resources from practitioners in the field. Ask a question and there are immediate and generous responses with ideas. The Circle Way website has easy to access materials.

2.     Prepare your hosts and guests – Provide information to hosts both in advance and at the event. Make it easy for them to feel comfortable saying “YES” to host. Posters displayed around the room, in addition to a brief and thorough verbal introduction to the process, helps people feel prepared to participate well.

3.     Be creative – Give yourself permission to use The Circle Way in unique ways to meet your groups’ needs. With 45 minutes, we effectively applied circle practice with a group of volunteers sitting at tables in a funeral home! We created a lovely ambiance aligned with our theme and had some fun (see next).

4.     Have Fun with The Circle Way – The table guardians choose from a variety of noise makers to signal time. Before starting, we invited everyone to shake their noise makers so people at their table knew what it sounded like. They really got into shaking it! This lifted the mood of the room, got the energy flowing and helped people overcome any shyness they might have had with the process.

5.     Just Do it – Be authentic and set your intention to have people open their heart and ears to one another.