2020-06-25 TRAINING C2:M1:S2

Empathy Circle Facilitator Training

Cohort 2: Module 1: Session 2 of 4


Sign Up: Empathy Circle Facilitator Training Sign Up This is a free Empathy Circle Facilitator Training. Learn to facilitate an Empathy Circle. Join this event if you would like to take part in the training. This is a 4 session training, 2 hours per session. Bear with us as we design and set up this training process and workflow. We are forming multiple cohorts of 4 to 12 participants. There is limited space in each cohort, and all participants must check with trainers to be accepted into the training. The basics of facilitating an Empathy Circle are fairly easy, however, it is a life long learning to deepen the skills and build a more empathic way of being and culture.

2020-06-25 Empathy Circle Facilitator Training #2

Notes by Greg

Facilitator might

Help reflect for listener who is having trouble

Remind speaker to pause

[My question for Lou – if a listener is badly off in reflecting and the speaker is very shy & accommodating, how to straighten that out?]

Aoife Valley – as the WASP colonialism thing becomes more humble, people of other backgrounds may feel more comfortable participating.

Lou – as a PWM, it’s a bit of a bind. I have something to offer, but I am aware of dominating/colonial history.

If bringing in a lot of diversity, must be sure facilitators can handle a lot of difference and potential anger. Have to be confident that the “diverse” people will have a good experience because facilitators can handle it.

Better to go specific than general. People instinctively avoid conflict (because they fear they can’t handle it well?) – except maybe people whose character makes them confident with conflict.

How much do you “interpret”? Just saying back someone’s words may not get at the essence of what they’re saying. [Maybe they’re having trouble expressing a thought…]

When does it turn from “I’d better listen and get it right” – which is all about me – and move into a true concern for another’s ideas, and connecting – including underlying emotions. A deepening of connection rather than just correctly getting the minutes of the meeting.

Why would someone want to join an empathy circle? The point is to grow your empathy… You have to realize you need to grow in empathy. Have to acknowledge that you don’t have very good empathy; you acknowledge you have work to do.

Ongoing process of observing your own edges and being willing to move beyond them.

Empathic listening – listen for feelings and needs. We don’t teach how to listen. People learn how to reflect by listening to others do that.

Really important to meet people where they are, not tell them “you need to go deeper, develop more awareness, ...” Kind of forcing people – which is a fault of NVC.

As facilitator, never go 2 or 3 steps deeper than what someone is saying. Can go a little bit deeper, but not a lot.

Level of intimacy – can help set it by choosing to be the first listener. Then you speak second, and can speak of personal things and model how open, how much disclosure, is allowable. When you speak in the circle, you model what can happen in the circle.

The facilitator doesn’t “ensure that things are being discussed” but can make sure that the listener reflects anything a speaker has said that maybe the listener has avoided.