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