To gather people to talk about something important, you don’t simply throw them together and hope that some kind of meaningful outcome occurs. Instead, the careful host selects the container that suits the conversation. The Circle Way is such a container. When you use the components of The Circle Way, the circle can help people hold complexity, work through conflict, discover new possibilities for collaboration, and honour diversity — and still have room for dessert and coffee.
“Several actions set the circle process in motion. The group gathers with a welcome, followed by a round of checking-in so that every voice can be heard. People articulate and respect agreements that define the role of individuals and how they will treat each other. Topic and intention guide the conversation. To elicit story and wisdom, practices of listening and speaking are observed. There is a way to pause the action and call for reflection. Decisions made, whether by consensus or hierarchical design are enhanced by hearing all points of view beforehand, and cooperation is facilitated by participation. Before people leave, there is a round of checking-out and a brief farewell.” – The Circle Way
The Components of The Circle Way:
- Welcome Start-point
- Centre and Check-in/Greeting
- Three Principles and Three Practices
- Guardian of process
- Check-out and Farewell
The Circle Way process can be applied with subtlety and gentle structure in moments of ease, appreciation, and celebration. AND it is strong enough to hold people through difficult times and conversations.
Want to understand this in more detail? Please visit the Resources for free downloadable The Circle Way guidelines, available in many languages, as well as videos that describe the components of The Circle Way.