It was the mid 1990s when I first became involved in change-through-dialogue work. That was through The Berkana Institute, working with Meg Wheatley and Myron Kellner-Rogers. I was a support person for multi-day residential gatherings at Sundance, Utah. Our starting question was, “What is the leadership needed for the 21st century?” These were powerful learning and community experiences that very much shaped and formed me.
It was the late 1990s when I first became involved in the more formal discipline and structure of the dialogue process that is The Circle Way (back then it was called PeerSpirit Circling). That’s when I met Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea, who would become two of my dearest friends. That’s when some of Berkana’s work was the initiative, From the Four Directions and I started meeting people from many countries and many walks of life. That’s when I started traveling to not only support, but to begin cohosting events.
Today, The Circle Way is at the core of what I teach. I often speak of it as the tool beneath all tools. It is the most basic and impactful form that I know for helping people to turn to one another in thoughtful, wise, imaginative, and kind ways. Some of that teaching that is coming soon is in Australia near Brisbane. I’ll be teaching with Amanda Fenton and Penny Hamilton, two people that I really enjoy.
Our website lists a few of the areas of focus that the practicum in Australia will include. It’s kind of exciting! Because, these days, containers matter even more than ever. Because, these days, with tensions raising, it feels even more important to be grounded in practices of listening and thoughtful speaking.
- The different components of circle practice that help create a strong container for our stories and important conversations.
- How circle works — the principles, practices, and agreements.
- How to create conditions for better listening and intentional speaking.
- How to apply various aspects of circle process to enhance our conversations and meetings.
- Our own hosting in small circles with real questions and issues.
- Working with energetics, shadow, conflict, and sustaining healthy circles.
- The special contributions of story and appreciation in circle.
- The capacity of circle that allows collective intelligence to emerge, and how the “leader in every chair” approach can achieve more commitment, ownership, joy, and sustainable solutions and decisions.
Join us. Or for some of the other avenues to learn the circle way.