Set up your own listening circle

Feel free to use the below example to develop a brief for your circle which you can send to your peers to invite them to join. 

Listening circle – Love in a time of Corona

 

Introduction

We are in a time of great change which for most of us will be already impacting on our personal, our interpersonal and our work lives. And it will continue to do so for months to come. If you are anything like me, then both fear and the opportunity to do great things are bubbling in this time of change – it is my belief that peer community can help us find a path through both, to the benefit of ourselves and our wider work. In this peer community we give space to what is here: we acknowledge our feelings AND allow new things to emerge.

 

Aims: 

  • Nurture love as an antidote to fear 

  • Develop our deep listening skills, and feel heard and understood

  • Provide a space in which to help recalibrate ourselves / our work / our understanding of the world

  • Find and plant the seeds of individual and collective purpose in our new reality

 

Process (an hour – two hours depending on size of group)

  • Online group of 3-6 people who agree to meet to listen to each other around a central topic that unites them e.g. what is our role in this new world? How can we best make it through this time? How can we do our best work and still look after ourselves? 

  • A facilitator (who rotates if more than one session) introduces process, purpose, groundrules and holds all of these throughout

  • A central question each session eg: ‘how are we feeling at the moment?’

  • A reading or offering that sets the tone of the discussion

  • Grounding meditation with a reflection on the question which launches the discussion

  • Go around the circle taking turns to be the Speaker and the Listener (the next person in the circle (or video chat window!)…who then becomes the Speaker)

  • Speaker speaks for 3-5 mins (no timer, no interruption)

  • At the end the Listener shares what they have heard back to the Speaker, perhaps focusing on values, strengths, motivations, struggles

  • Go around as many times as time allows but at least 3 times

  • Space at the end for a collective discussion on learning / themes / feelings

 

 

In summary this circle is designed for us to: 

LOVE – we care for each other

GROUND – we acknowledge what’s here

TRANSITION – we give space for shifts to happen

FIND PURPOSE – we sow and gather the seeds of our future work

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