Working in Circles

Meeting in circles in an ancient way of bringing a group of people together where each person has equal opportunity of seeing and listening to others in the circle as well as to be heard.

In Work Circles participants are supported by the group to ‘speak from the heart’. This takes the meeting from mundane, day-to-day levels, to something different; something beyond where opinions and logic reside and collide.

In speaking in the Circle, each participant is invited to speak to what is important to them personally and to hear and feel the response of the group. Each person is valued and each person contributes to the group finding a more profound insight that is greater than that of individual mindsets. In Work Circles there is a shift from the single viewpoints to where a collective agreement may be found.

Effectively, when people are willing to relax and participate in process, Work Circles creates a higher state of awareness, learning and consensus that may well be elusive when people feel that they are not heard or valued in the typical top-down hierarchy of most organisations. Work Circles, for some people, reinstates a sense of being valued and of belonging.

Work Circles creates an openness where the group finds its own wisdom through sharing from the heart-mind. The usual rifts that come from excess stress and feelings of not belonging are helped to be healed in this way of exploring consensus.

We usually sit in a circle but this can also be done by sitting in normal seats around a boardroom table. The main process is where each participant is given an equal opportunity to speak to what is important to them. Groups being kept relatively small so as to allow space for each participant. Groups may be served well by keeping to around 12 or slightly larger if need be.

Meeting in Circle engenders respect, creating harmony and flow and helps to build connectivity in the group. A consensus-approach encourages each person to speak out and speak honestly about an issue.

When participants feel that they are given respect for their views then they are more likely to be open and honest. As an exercise in team-building, they more likely to feel part of the decision making process.

Work Circles can also be used to help engender qualities that the organisation requires strengthened. For example, if there has been some disharmony between staff members, then Work Circles may give all parties the opportunity to air their concerns and understand each others.

This is done in a way where the group agrees to allow each member to speak in turn and then to add to their original sharing later in the session. Depending on participant numbers, most sessions allow participants to express themselves at several times throughout the session.

Circle can also be conducted where each person is welcome to add to the conversation when they feel to but then to remain silent and listen until each person present has shared something. There is always the option for people to simply be present to the discussion and contribute through their support of others ideas.

Each session is structured in a way that participants feel relaxed and valued before we begin any deeper sharing or exploration of issues or themes.

Participating in Work Circles assists participants to let go of fears or personal expectations and become fully attentive to self and others while being aware of their own agendas and concerns. Work Circles includes Mindfulness and the practice encourages a compassionate space where each person feels valued in simply being present.

Work Circles is perfect for any organisation that requires team members to develop more harmony connectivity, or creative flow. A session of between two and three hours allows the space and time it takes for a true exploration of participants feelings and thoughts to be shared and heard.

Once trust is established, people feel more willing to say what they want to say, and in a way that is respectful to all concerned.

Circles take away the need to attack an issue or make demands to be heard.

In Work Circles participants feel safe, secure and supported in what the organisation wishes to address or what themes individuals wish to explore.

Greg Govinda facilitates Group-work and Work Circles in organisations and community groups including Men’s Support and Life Coaching.

(c) G. Govinda May 2019