This gives an overview of some of the benefits of taking part in an empathy circle.
By Rosa Zubizarreta - A handout Rosa gives for her Empathy Circles workshops.
Benefits of the Empathy Circle Practice
Easy to Do
Do it anywhere and anytime. No requirements or prerequisites.
It requires no money investments whatsoever.
Easy to Learn and Teach
the basic practice is easily learnable. With a short instruction, 2 or more people can begin within a few minutes.
it can be used for personal goals like solving a conflict in families, or it can be a facilitation tool for trainers, etc.
Most benefit for Least Amount of Effort
get significant results in the minimal amount of time.
A circle can be started quickly in any context: family, friends, work, community, school, churches, book clubs, politics, etc.
Anyone Can Do It
no need for a PhD in psychology to get to the core of important issues.
Easy to Reproduce
Empathy circles can be easily learned and implemented which means they can spread rapidly.
A Gateway Practice
This practice is a gateway or foundation for many other practices and processes.
For example practices like: Counseling, Nonviolent Communication, Focusing, Motivational Interviewing, Mediation, Conflict Resolution, Marriage & Family Therapy, Human Centered Design, etc
The basic empathy circle can be expanded on. Like a container it can strengthened.
For example, you can build on the basic empathy circle by adding different exercises such as intention setting, check in, at the beginning of a circle.
It Feels Good
It feels good to take part in meaningful and constructive dialogue. It feels good to be able to fully express oneself and feel heard. It feels good to listen to someone else and feel one is contributing to their well being by listening to them.
Nurture an Empathic Way of Being
You become more open, authentic, caring, trusting, grounded, stronger, and able to see the humanity of everyone. It enhances quality of life and overall well-being.
Build Empathy and Other Skills
Empathy skill: Empathy is a skill that can be learned and needs to be practiced, an Empathy Circle gives you a structure to do it.
Other skills: communication, reflective listening, empathic listening, cognitive, conflict management, emotional intelligence, etc.
Build Closer Relationships
Develop trustful and deep relationships with empathy circle participants and others.
Get a clear understanding of your own and others perspectives.
Clarify Your Thinking
It's an opportunity to express your thoughts and have then reflected to you. It get's the thoughts out of your head. You see how they are taken in by others, which helps test them. Also having this reflecting by another, is like having 2 eyes on the thoughts, which gives a sort of binocular vision and depth perception. This helps clarify and deepen your thoughts.
Share and Purge in a Safe Space
A place to safely 'purge' your pent up feelings. When participants come into a circle, they often have pent frustrations and up need to express themselves and feel heard and seen. The circle offers a space for that.
Allow Space for Creative Solutions
Once participants feel heard and seen, they feel more space for creative thought. They are able to create they own solutions.
More Personal Benefits Testimonials
Other Benefits To Develop for Extinction Rebellion
1. Community Building: For nurturing connection, trust building, mutual understanding.
2. Effective Working: Creating a collaborative and constructive work environment. Like Dynamic Facilitation (aka, Empathic Inquiry) creates.
3. Personal Support: Getting deeper emotional support for personal issues. Support for feelings of alienation, depression, grief, anxiety, fear, stress, etc
4. Democracy Building: Is foundational for people to relate with each other for deep democracy to flourish.
5. Conflict Resolution: That is what the above Empathy Cafe is for, on conflict.
6. Empathic Direct Action (EDA): A new form of Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA). We will be holding an Empathy Cafe on this shortly.
7. Empathic Design (aka Human Centered Design). For anything that is designed, the designers need to be aware of the felt experience and impact their designs will have on people.