2019-03-30 Meeting 1

Question 1: What Topics would you like to talk about in the group?


    • I’m interested in anything that moves the Empathy Circle/Cafe practice forward.

    • A specific project is to share and get feedback on the the overview of the Empathy Circle/Cafe Training plan.

Karolina Kubiak

  • Would like Case Studies

  • The process of preparing the empathy circle -

  • how does it look like?

  • What are significant moments in this process?

  • Is there any typical situations, problems?

  • What does it often begin with?

  • What is others’ experience, interesting instances?

  • Any rules or tips?

I'm referring to our last call about bridging divides and Edwin’s comment on Marshall Rosenberg mediating somewhere in Africa - his mediation lasted two days, but the preparation took about a year. I suppose I’m curious of some case studies ;-) .

How might the topic (expression in the title) exclude potential participants?

How can we avoid our own prejudice and rephrase the topic (title) to open circle for everybody?

For instance topics like racism or patriarchalism - don’t they feature our own prejudice?


  • How to achieve empathy with difficult people?

  • How to advertise Empathy Circles in the community?

  • (Communicate better)

  • How to identify folks who are ready, or not, to participate in Empathy Circles?


Invite sharing around topics such as….

  • What personal benefits have you felt so far as a result of being a facilitator or being trained to do so? e.g

    • has it helped you grow personally or professionally?

    • in what ways?

    • has the process revealed any of your blind spots?

    • Has it added to your confidence?

  • Were there any things that occurred in the training that you felt were not such a good use of our time?

    • or even a waste of time?

  • What are some lively topics to use in empathy circles?

  • As a facilitator or as you anticipate being a facilitator, what is your own personal stake in leading such events?

    • How does doing this work align with you life’s core mission?

  • As a facilitator or as you anticipate being a facilitator, what are some possible group situations that have either been challenging for you to deal with or that you feel uncertain or shaky about dealing with?

  • What are some challenging situations you have successfully faced or dealt with as a facilitator?

  • When you co-facilitate with someone else, what are the challenges of this?

Question 2: What Structure would you find supportive and effective for the group?


    • Have a time in the meeting for everyone to share an experience and get feedback on it. Everyone can add their name and topic to the agenda.

    • Maybe start with a round of empathic listening as check In.

    • HARVESTING: is a term used to describe the documentation, and having some sort of a tangible outcome from the meeting. So I would like a structure that harvests and organizes the insights we get.

    • HARVESTING: Would be good to take minutes, and someone write up a short report of the meeting to share. Also to share and post the minutes.

    • HARVESTING: Also would like to record the call and post so others interested in facilitating could learn.

    • Time for: Requests for support and anything to offer.

Karolina Kubiak

what about 3 minutes of silence on the check-in? It might look weird on the recording, but I believe it is a form of preparing myself to the meeting, calming down, finding the right attitude and focus - leaving everything else behind, being only here and now during the empathy dialog or facilitator training.


Set intention.

Create a tight container.

Procedure for having a beginning, middle and an end to an Empathy Circle.


Creating a curriculum to participate. - more time space.. Less time..


I prefer one hour vs two. I can only be here today for one hour.

I might want us to try role playing difficult situations or controversial topics--like to ‘test drive’ the topics. Topics I like are: campaign finance reform, electoral college, defense budget, going to the moon budget, education budget, corruption in high places, and how to unify people who have a common goal, e.g. peace on earth