February 19th from 10:00am - 3:00pm MST: Learn to facilitate Circle Dialogues! This training is free and open to all members of the CU Community. Space is limited so please RSVP by the 17th to reserve your spot.
The Circle Process is a facilitated dialogue through which participants share and reflect upon their experiences as they relate to a topic or context. Participants are seated in a circle and respond sequentially to questions prompted by the facilitator(s). The Circle differs from traditional discussion or conversations within groups by providing each participant the opportunity to speak uninterrupted. While one person is speaking, other participants are encouraged to listen deeply and engage with one another’s perspectives. The process begins with a focus on building connection between participants before moving onto topic-driven dialogue. The process also serves to clarify context and intent related to participant’s experiences and perspectives, thus avoiding the misunderstandings and assumptions that often arise in unstructured conversation.
Why do they work?
The Circle Process is valuable for its ability to elicit individual perspectives, allow for meaningful reflection, strengthen community, and alter normative dynamics of communication. Often in everyday conversation, individuals may feel uncomfortable sharing their full experience and may truncate their thoughts due to social pressures. The Circle slows this process down and encourages participants to bring their full experience to the dialogue. By encouraging listeners to focus on what is being said by others as opposed to their own intended response or rebuttal, the Circle process draws out common experiences and perspectives that can be reflected on as a group. By calling on all individuals to engage with one another’s experiences, the sense of community amongst the participants is strengthened.
For more information about Circle Processes, check out these articles from Living Justice Press.
Please email email@example.com with any questions.
Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution
Center for Community (C4C) S485
University of Colorado Boulder
Traditional Territories of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute Nations