Benefits 2


Participant Testimonials of Taking Part 
in an Empathy Circle.





YouTube Video





"This was my first empathy circle and it was an experience for me. I liked how well everyone listened to each other."

This was my first empathy circle and it was an experience for me. I liked how well everyone listened to each other. The reflections generally sounded on. I was also surprised at how difficult it was to speak for me. It felt like work, at the same time it felt worthwhile. One of the speakers talked about taking the Empathy Tent out every week and how some of the people who came up were emotionally disturbed or whatnot, and they just wanted to be listened to. I imagine it’s softening the edges. I like the idea that is can have a cascading effect.
 Ben Collver

"I was also surprised at how difficult it was to speak for me. It felt like work, at the same time it felt worthwhile."


" I definitely learned something. I think I pick up something every time I do that. "

I’ve been in a few of these and it’s about the same. I’m a little cranky today, and I decided to reflect that. I try to be objective as much as possible, but also express my subjectivity because that is part of my experience.

 It’s a little difficult to repeat what people have to say to me sometimes, especially when I am half awake and I don’t like how they phrase things and I want to use my own words or whatever. Because reiterating words used in certain ways, is like me subscribing to their ideas, but again that is part of the rules, your supposed to reflect back what they say. So I definitely learned something. I think I pick up something every time I do that. 



"This one was probably more contentious … than any of the ones I’ve been in. So I am just so appreciative of how the process helps hold everything together."

I enjoy them as always. This one was probably more contentious … than any of the ones I’ve been in. So I am just so appreciative of how the process helps hold everything together.



"I’ve been to quite a few and really enjoyed it. I like meeting new people and being exposed to new ideas."

I’ve been to quite a few and really enjoyed it. I like meeting new people and being exposed to new ideas. 



"I found it very valuable and I have more hope because of the simplicity of this. You don’t have to read a book, you don’t have to practice, you just follow suit."

This is my first Empathy Circle so, I thought I was just going to listen - be in a fish bowl situation. But I am really really grateful. I found it very valuable and I have more hope because of the simplicity of this. You don’t have to read a book, you don’t have to practice, you just follow suite. It felt good, I felt heard and got to share things that I don’t usually share in my bubble of liberalism. 



What a privilege it’s been to be with Ben, Bill and Meagan, and Gail and to listen to them and speak with them and have my words reflected back so accurately and kindly. It's great to be alive today and I am grateful. 
 Bob Brown


 " I’m glad we are doing this and I think that there can’t be a better world without this hard work.  It’s difficult and sometimes painful, but worth doing I think."

I feel pretty raw. I worry about the lack of racial diversity and I feel like we are tossing around … I feel weird about discussing things in such a way that affects other people's lives so strongly. I’m glad we are doing this and I think that there can’t be a better world without this hard work. It’s difficult and sometimes painful, but worth doing I think.



"It helped me develop my thinking more about some things I’d like to share in the future as well. "

It was pretty non contentious in our group because I think we are all skew somewhat more similarly politically. But it was nice to just get some things off my chest that I have been wanting to bring up in an Empathy Circle for a while. It helped me develop my thinking more about some things I’d like to share in the future as well. 
― Meagan

2018-12-29: BRIDGE DIVIDES

YouTube Video



"I really like having the container for someone who can speak and be heard and reflected, it brings a lot of safety, where my body can relax and be present."

I really like a lot that having the container for someone who can speak and be heard and reflected, it brings a lot safety where my body can relax and be present. I appreciate that.

I wish there was a way to bring the feelings and physical sensations into the conversation so that I will have more connection with how they are thinking. 
  ― Yuko Goto 



"I like being listened to."

I like being listened to. I think everybody does a really good job of listening. I can be a difficult person to listen to and that is what I would hope for in the future. That I will be less defensive, and that I will feel safer, and that I can be easier to listen to and be easier to be understood because of that. 
― Tyler Morris



  "I feel really grateful to be back in this kind of 
a space, and I am glad it exists."

I really liked the unique moment of Meagan doing a role play to bring in a different voice to cause us to go deeper. So I feel really grateful to be back in this kind of a space, and I am glad it exists. So thank you Edwin. 
― Clare Hedin



"I really liked this thing where we started to say, “I’m Listening” right after someone chose us."

I really liked this thing where we started to say, “I’m Listening” right after someone chose us. I mean not everyone did it every time. I’m not saying it should be mandatory, it just felt good when it started happening organically. There is something very comforting about someone just saying, “I’m listening.” 

I Wish: 
As far as improvements or moving forward. I notice I a little worry of anything I say as being static, like it’s all a work in progress. I might say things slightly differently at some point or there might be another piece of information that I’m not sharing that is really crucial to what I did say. I hope we can remember that we are not static. That this in one moment in time and we can continue to learn about each other and those who participate. 
― Meagan



For the most part I think it was another good session. 

I Wish: 
The only critique I might have is maybe having more variety of meeting times, because I am in different moods in different times of the day. And I have a strong feeling that people I have the most conflict with so to speak, sleep in late. So I would like to talk with those people. So a more evenings circle will bring a different crowd, that would be interesting as well.
― David Carson 



" I thought is was a really good circle today. 
There was a lot of deep listening and sharing."

Despite technical difficulties I thought is was a really good circle today. There was a lot of deep listening and sharing. 

What I would wish for is that we could get to the deeper level of our needs and talking about what we each need and maybe even to guessing needs in a NVC format.
― Corey Collier



I enjoyed the session as well.

I Wish: 
I agree with Cory that I would enjoy going a layer deeper to the needs. Another thing I would wish for is to know what to speak about because I don’t really have a lot of topics in my mind to speak to other people. I can not produce them like. So, that was a difficult thing for me.
― Julia May 


I really enjoyed it. There were all new people that I really enjoyed hearing their different opinions.I really liked how everyone was comfortable just talking about how much the thoughts where they challenge different things. I liked hearing that and know that everyone felt comfortable enough to just talk about how they wanted to challenge various things or ideas. 
― Evan Magor


"I enjoyed, pretty much, the
 connection with everybody."

I enjoyed pretty much the connection with everybody. I really enjoyed the facilitation that Evan did and it was very clear and I enjoyed all that human connect stuff and hearing what everyone had to say was also good. 

I Wish: 
I have a slight sense of frustration that often do with NVC empathy circling of it being just a bit mono directional and never really getting off the space and into the guts of things. So I am not sure how one will do that. 
― Nick Wood



I also enjoyed the facilitation and I guess the sense of safety and actually given that it could have been that the topics were quite difficult, I guess there was a sense of safety know that things would just simply be reflected back. 

I Wish: 
But equally, and a couple of people touched on this, I would probably feel maybe, a bit more satisfied, knowing that it would be possible to talk about the feelings and the needs that are around that, to get another layer of depth. 
― Sophie Varlow 



I really welcomed this opportunity. This was quite new to me and I think it’s quite fascinating that do many of us can come together. Like other people have said it’s perhaps the beginning and further work, empathy circle can be done and I feel quite confident that were those discussions can come forth in an empathic way. 
― Rona Burt


"I absolutely love this process.
 I’m so enamored with it and
 I come to these as often as I can." 

I absolutely love this process. I’m so enamored with it and I come to these as often as I can. I think that one thing that is present for me as a possible improvement is. It’s funny because a few people have mentioned the word safety, and I feel it might be helpful to intentionally create this as a safe place. I got the sense that a couple of people were holding back for fear of something. I felt like vulnerability was not completely open. That was just one thing that was present for me. 
― Art Burns



 "It felt like it is a little muscle,
 that each time you got to do it, 
and it gets better with practice I think"

It was really interesting to do something like this after a long time. It felt like it is a little muscle, that each time you got to do it, and it gets better with practice I think. It was interesting to see Evan has a lot of practice so he was very fluent. 

Also, the role of the observer is really interesting. You learn a lot doing that, because you are not involved in either speaking or listening. I’m aware of that as well.

I would echo the point about safety, that Nick made. Structure versus safety. He made a point that a lot of structure can mean that people don’t get down to the actual thing, because it’s too difficult or conflicted and that can be unsafe for people, by not having resolution. It’s an interesting process and the skill is definitely useful to speak in such groups to develop the skill of listening. 
― Joy 

"It’s an interesting process and the skill is 
definitely useful to speak in such groups to 
develop the skill of listening. "





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