WHAT'S THE EXPERIENCE?
How Does It Feel To Connect With Others In A Circle
At first it feels awkward, like everyone is watching you and you are afraid to make a mistake. Or it might feel dumb, like a waste of time. But then, as you start to listen, really listen to what the others in the circle are saying, and you see that they are really listening to you when you speak, something new and strange and wonderful starts to happen. It is like a current, a flow of energy that moves between you and the circle.
You start to feel like you’re a team, moving and breathing and working together as one entity. It is not like you lose yourself, more like you gain yourself. The voice in your head that told you this is crazy or stupid, now tells you this is amazing and wonderful. You don’t really understand what is happening, but you are glad it is. You’re feeling something that can only be called the center of the group.
You start to sense on an emotional level, something the circle guidelines have somehow created. You and everyone in the circle are equal, that there is no right or wrong and that what you and everyone in the circle are sharing is creating something new and warm and extremely special – Something that you can’t create alone, only together. It’s called connection and when you feel that as a sensation it will never leave you. It is one of those special moments and memories in life that you love to recall and want to feel again, and again. No joy in this world can compare to feeling truly connected to others, to the feeling of being at the center of the circle together as one.
These are the principals which when applied under experienced guidance bring about this creative change.
- All are equal and very importantWe forget about our job titles and work responsibilities and do not evaluate based on gender, age or other externals. We are freed from that and are comfortably neutral.
- Speak to the center of the circleTo focus on the topic and create a unifying atmosphere we don’t address our words to anyone, or to any participant in particular. We don’t dialogue, compliment, negate or pose questions to each other, rather we speak directly to the commonality – the center of the circle.
- Everyone takes an active partBy simply sharing a viewpoint and connecting it to the viewpoints of others, participants begin to better understand themselves and other. We’re not just listening – we are aimed at recreating what others are saying within ourselves by actually feeling what they say and why. Each and everyone does this in relation to all participants.
- Without argument, criticism or judgement We accept all opinions…no matter how absurd they may seem to us. There are no right or wrong opinions; all of them have the right to exist and to be considered. Everyone at the roundtable are making the same efforts to be honest and there is huge benefit in this so you don’t want to discourage them in any way. This action is so important that it is what makes or breaks our success.
- Rise above negative sensationsIt’s natural to experience irritation, dislike, a lack of understanding or disagreement when engaging with others. and yet we can overcome them only by coming out of ourselves and looking at the question from the perspective of others. We try to come out of our own thoughts and make inner concessions to each other. If we are successful in our attempts we will realize that it is precisely such moments that offer the greatest opportunities for mutual wisdom and advancement.
- Avoid slogans and clichés, just be honestIt is important to say only what you really feel or think without relying on others’ opinions or what we may be expected to say. A circle works best when its participants are honest. Period.
- Make decisions together
Good decisions come from mutual understanding and connection. This is something that happens toward the end of the discussions when the personal opinions of all unite into a collective opinion. Only collective decisions have a true and lasting impact.