A little about Circle Processes…

The Circle Process ~ some benefits of using circles: 

  • Circles provide for equitable power sharing
  • Circles allow quiet voices to be heard
  • Circles nurture the emergence of leadership
  • Circles encourage problem solving by consensus building
  • Circles help build a safe space
  • Circles provide a place for people to build relationships
  • Circles provide an opportunity to explore issues more deeply
  • Circles help people step up and take responsibility for their stuff
  • Circles are an effective organizing tool
  • Circle ritual transcends the ordinary and mundane

~ and sometimes magic happens!

Circles can be used:

  • Anytime three or more people gather
  • To open or close a gathering
  • To clear the air when there is controversy
  • To build consensus and come to cooperative decision making
  • To move a group towards action

Ideas for the Circle Keeper:

  • Introduce a talking piece (stone, ball, stuffed animal, etc.)
  • Give clear directions to increase the likelihood of success
  • Start with a low risk question that builds a foundation of shared values
    • The Circle Keeper responds to the question first.
  • Give people the opportunity to pass during the first go-around
  • Pass the talking piece around the circle the second time
  • Suspend the use of the talking piece for brainstorming or facilitated discussion.  Return to its use as needed.
  • The shape of the circle does matter – everyone needs to be able to see everyone
  • Circle Keeping is simple – but it isn’t easy!

Just do it!  

Just Peace Circles, Inc. 2010

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