PEACE CIRCLE TRAINING 

Agenda for WPC Skillshare

March 5, 2014

Essentials:  Chairs in a Circle, Newsprint, Markers, Center “piece”, Talking Piece, Sticky pad and pencils/pens

Welcome and Intro of Circle Keepers (aka facilitators)  

Introductions of participants - standing circle.  Name + movement 

Seated - Breathe - coming present, be here now.

Participants are invited to write a value that is important to them on a sticky pad.

Check-ins - State your name + the value that is important to you with brief explanation (then place it on the centerpiece)

Talking Piece - introduce it and pass sunwise (clockwise) around the circle.

Rap/Overview background of peace circles/core assumptions

Center piece - Provides a place in the center of the circle with some significant object(s). Helps bring stability (energetically) and gives a place for people to focus as needed.

Agreements - Solicit ideas of what is needed in order for the group to be real and authentic. (Write them on newsprint without comment.) Pass talking piece.

Establishing expectations and guidelines for how people could behave in the circle helps provide the space where they can connect with others in a respectful way.  If there are objections, discuss them to find the points of conflict.  No need for full agreement.

Storytelling

Give a brief example of something you’ve done for positive social change - some reasons it worked and went well.  We only need  2 or 3 examples.   We’ll pass the talking piece and you can choose to speak or pass it on.  Listen for commonalities and components that were useful.  Pass talking piece around again.

Telling stories builds empathy and shared values and increases mutual understanding.  Offering people an opportunity to tell a story helps shatter stereotypes and assumptions, encourages deep listening and builds stronger community.

Exploring issues

Speak of a time an action didn’t go as well as you had hoped and tell how you experienced the situation.  Be honest and brief.  Again, the talking piece is passed and people can volunteer to share as moved.

Peace Circles explore the difficult questions after the foundation is laid.  The talking piece can be passed around the circle multiple times to explore the issue more deeply. Finally, the circle keeper thanks participants for their honesty, openness and courage.

FACILITATED DISCUSSION:  

Suspend the use of the talking piece for brainstorming or across circle discussion.  Resume the use of the talking piece asap to prevent the facilitator from needing to direct the conversation.  

Check-out:  Pass the talking piece asking for final thoughts and/or a word that sums up where that are at the time.  

Discussion:  What are some ways you could use this circle process?  Question, thoughts.  (Hand-out on “Complexity of circle continuum”)

Depending on the size of the group, the circle keeper may need to contain the closing thoughts to a word or two.  If time permits, the check-out may include next steps as well.  

CLOSING

Choose a closing activity that serves the group.  

Openings and closings mark the time and place as separate from the rest of the day and of our lives.