On Circle, Getting Simple

With circle, my friend Meg writes in the forward to this book,

  • “…consummate practicality for how transformed communication can change the way we work together…”
  • “…application that is both deep and transcendent…”

Yup, I relate to that. It’s good and honest translation of something that can feel like high in the sky mystery, brought to realness of mud on the ground.

In my 20+ years of doing / being, I’ve learned that circle is not something you do on the side before you get back to the real work. It is the real work. So often. It is the restoring of choice in how we get to do work. And community. And teams. And family. And organizational culture.

But how?

Here’s the simplified part that I love (from The Circle Way).

  1. “Sit in a circle and take turns speaking and listening so that every voice is heard.”
  2. “Put something in the center of the space that symbolizes purpose and holds group focus.”
  3. “Speak agreements for interaction so everyone knows how to contribute.”
  4. “Check-in and check-out so people name how they arrive, and what they learned as they leave.”

“Circle organizes conversation into collaboration, insight, and collective action.”

Why circle?

It’s not about the method for the method’s sake. It’s about what the attentiveness inherent in the method makes possible and available.

Here’s to the many of us in practice, in learning, and in simplifying that gets us to the essence, deep and transcendent.


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