Re: FYI: Calling a Circle


Richard Moore

From: don peck <>
Subject: Re: Circle Info
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 11:21:33 -0800
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>


This is great stuff. Was interested in checking out the Writeboard. 
You need a login and password. Do you have it?

Great to have seen you in San Francisco on your visit, keep up the good work.




Hi Don,

It was great to meet you as well. The whole tour was very 
enlightening and energizing for me.

As regards accessing more information, see the next message.


Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2006 06:37:08 +1300
From: "James Samuel" <>
To: "Richard Moore" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: Calling a Circle & access to whiteboard...

Hi Richard,

I was very happy to see you forward the Calling a Circle information 
to your network, thank you for spreading this. I suggest that if 
people want to explore the dialogue tools and processes further, they 
go to:

There is a reasonably lengthy introduction here, and a link to 
download the entire 86 page PDF document.



From: Andrea Lea <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: FYI: Calling a Circle
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 10:19:09 -0500
To: •••@••.•••

Thanks for this refresher, Richard. Will use this for our  community 
process at La Soledad in Baja Mexico.
Peace and plenty,

Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2006 09:48:48 -0500
Subject: Re: FYI: Calling a Circle
From: Rosa Zubizarreta <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>

Hi Richard,

Glad to see that this useful information is being shared...

A few other things about circles...

1) This was included implicitly in the piece you sent, but I wanted 
to make it more explicit: sometimes it works to have a small-group 
meeting where you start with one or two rounds of circle, move to a 
more free-form conversation in the middle, and then end with one or 
two rounds.

The "talking stick" (or "listening stick" as Tom Atlee likes to call 
it) can be left in the middle of the circle during the "free-form" 
time, so that if the free-form conversation becomes too conflictual, 
speedy, or otherwise overwhelming, anyone can call for another round 
of circle right then, by taking up the "listening stick"...

2) One particularly useful function for circles, is to help a smaller 
group of people (the hosts, organizers, caretakers, planners, 
whatever you would like to call them to avoid the ever-so-unpopular 
word "leaders" :-) become clear and harmonized about a particular 
project they are organizing.

Once the "organizing team" is aligned among themselves (this is an 
on-going process...) they can serve the function of a "seed crystal" 
or "microcosm", helping to bring into being a larger aligned field.

In this larger field, you might have lots of smaller circles (for 
example, circle break-out groups at a conference) or you might have a 
fishbowl-style process where everyone is gathered in a larger circle, 
and whoever wants to speak comes in and sits down in a smaller circle 
in the middle... Stays until they have listened to the next person 
after them speak, then leaves the smaller circle to make room for 
others to come in...

Okay, that's my two cents...



Hi Rosa,

It's always nice to hear from you, and thanks for the circle  suggestions.

I'm beginning to see the circle as being the primary concept in 
democratic dialog. A WC, Conversation Cafe, and various other 
processes can be seen as variants of a circle, with differing kinds 
of facilitation, duration, intention, etc. Whenever (small numbers 
of) people meet in 'everyday life', to deal with any kind of issue, 
we might ask the question as to whether a basic circle might be a 
good choice of process.

Of particular interest, in my view, are ongoing circles, 'recurring 
dialog spaces'. I've seen some of those on my tour, where people of 
like interests meet regularly. From a democracy perspective, it might 
be more interesting to see inclusive-minded neighborhood circles, 
meeting on a rotation basis in people's homes. Sharing meals might 
add to the appeal of such events, at least that's been the experience 
of the City Repair people in Portland.

The experience of 'good process' is something that can't be fully 
communicated in words. On my tour, this was the concept that people 
were most consistently skeptical about. There arose the bogeyman of 
'the unreasonable other', fears of the 'uninformed masses', etc. I'm 
convinced that people need to go through the experience before they 
can begin to appreciate the potential. Circles seem to be the best 
way to spread the experience around.



Escaping the Matrix website
cyberjournal website  
subscribe cyberjournal list     mailto:•••@••.•••
Posting archives      
   cyberjournal forum 
   Achieving real democracy
   for readers of ETM 
   Community Empowerment
   Blogger made easy