What was most valuable about this Session for you?
Time for reflection
The fact that I went in with a preconceived idea of how the training was going to be and it went in a totally different direction. I felt safe, heard and was very curious about those I participated with.
The ease with which we connected and shared in spite of the physical distance .
participating in the empathy circle
Having a topic, eg: values
Practicing and the supportive environment within which to do so. And, I really appreciated hearing a story about how empathy was used to recognize a common value between people from opposite political spectrums and thus be able to create a common purpose to discuss. (From Edwin's story about a Republican group whom, when he asked, told Edwin they valued protection. Edwin offered that if they felt empathized with and understood, then they'd feel protected bc there'd be no concern of anyone hurting them. They agreed and an openness on both sides to talk about empathy occurred.)
In the breakout room Bill explained how he balances facilitating, keeping time and allowing for people to finish their thought.
The Insight i got when i understood how important it is to divide up the content when i speak
Feedback from the team
The warmth and understanding conveyed to me when I kept having to leave and come back to the session due to technical issues.
getting to a level of greater comfort with the process
The connection with my breakout group was lovely - really appreciated the people. Also, appreciated hearing the different introductions to the Empathy Circle from my group members. The emphasis seemed to be on being approachable and friendly (as well as conveying how to do the practice), and that emphasis relaxed me. Ann was a wonderful facilitator.
Discussing my concerns about empathy circles and receiving instructors' suggestions.
How to handle challenges in the empathy circle.
Was very helpful to experience facilitating with challenges and to experiment with different ways of navigating those challenges. Also really appreciated feedback on my facilitation as well as my introduction to ECs.
Listening to everyone
It helped me understand how I tend to sometimes take the challenges from a session back home with me.
practice handling difficult situations
My own response in challeging situations
more practice dealing with challenges, the insights of others in the circle on their own experience, willingness of the trainer to challenge us fully
taking part in empathy circles
What would you change about the Session to make it better for you?
Nothing comes to minc
Nothing I can think of at this moment.
I wouldn't change anything, it was very well organized.
This is a general question, not related to the question above. If you have links to useful EC videos you think we might benefit from watching, could you please share them? I am interested in general videos as well as videos where the topics might have been emotionally charged or the facilitation difficult, so we can see how experienced facilitators handle those kinds of situations.
nothing I can think of
Maybe make it shorter - i quickly get tired
I think it was well planned
Practice giving more information about the process during the practice.
It would be nice to have 2 min for a bathroom/stretch break before reconvening with the larger group (after our break-out sessions).
It's a very well planned and administered session and as such everything is very well taken care of.
Nothing comes to mind.
I feel in general that 2,5hours session are two much for availability and attention span. Its very exhausting mentally the setting. I dont think that 10 hours of practice hands on are necessary. I would like to see more content on how to: Handle conflict resolution Manage difficult personalities Be kind but help people stick to the rules Case studies of people who have created empathy circles with a purpose or a specific community
Our breakout room discussions abruptly ended and so we did not get the opportunity to discuss our reflections. Had that happened, a lot more value could have been gained from the session.
some time for Q and A? maybe...
You brought up taking breaks so I don't need to bring it up here
What questions are in your mind right now about facilitating Empathy Circles?
I’m keen to learn more about Paraphrasing when active listening and using different words than that which is heard verbatim.
No questions, just creative posibilities!
I live in an environment where there is a lot of doubt and skepticism. I have no issues with my students but surely my colleagues will back out.
what are some common challenges that facilitators face?
Keeping a presence of mind, with the objective of being there for the other.
I am interested in hearing about some challenging experiences facilitators have had while facilitating ECs and how they have handled them. Would be interested to see some demos of different kinds of reflecting, if applicable to this context. For example, we try to reflect content and the felt sense we get from the person. Do we also try to reflect back what we sense may be their values or vision moving forward? I also am interested in introducing ECs to my school for some discussions that have been occurring. If folks at my school ask me to demo the EC practice so that they can use it on their own in their groups (without going through the facilitation training themselves) can I do that? Or would it be better to refer them to these trainings so they can learn that way, and for my part just solely act as facilitator until I have completed the trainer's training?
do you reflect body language, or pauses? or just words?
I am proud i am doing but still wondering if i can do it (hold space, be taken seriously)
How do I go about putting a circle together
What to do if I or group members feel uncomfortable about how a circle is going? Is there any confidentiality agreement/statement that what is said in the group stays only in the group? Can we allow other people to facilitate empathy circles who have not been through the empathy circle facilitator training?
Dealing with challenges from participants.
I'd like to hear stories of ways people are going out into the community to share this practice. I also plan to offer it at my school. If people ask me to instruct them in it, may I do so or can I only facilitate small groups until I've completed the Trainer's training?
How can we effectively motivate others to participate in empathy circles?
How do you have an empathy circle just unfold organically?
Beyond doing it with family/friends or suggesting it as a tool at my work, I am interested in getting experience doing it in "real life" situations and am not really sure where to go from here. Any suggestions or stories would be helpful.
What are the benefits you present to someone to join an empathy circle
Nothing in particular as of now
none at the moment
It can be more challenging than I first thought!
I can't think of any at this moment
what to do if someone starts crying
What is a Empathy Circle Facilitation Challenge you have experienced, have seen or imagine having? Describe it and any questions, concerns, comments, ideas, etc. about it? (we will try to address those in the Session.)
Time and capacity for participation — asking 2 hours of people can be a lot these days...
I can't think of any at the moment. But will ask when I do have some.
My biggest challenge as a participant is listening with full attention and giving short feedback.
Participants may not be good listeners
1) Personal: my ability to disconnect my internal responses from what the speaker is trying to say. 2) Keeping my time at speaking short 3) Avoid littering my "story" with too many details, which become distracting and confusing to others.
See my question above re challenging facilitating experiences - would love to hear stories of these and how they were handled. Wondering too, I wasn't able to find folks to do an empathy circle with me this week. If we have trouble getting people who can make a common time, can we practice EC facilitation with people in our cohort?
imagining hot button topic discussions, wondering how they are handled
One person almost started crying. That was diff to handle.
If a serious, personal, sensitive topic is shared what should i do as a facilitator?
What to do if I or group members feel uncomfortable about how a circle is going?
Remembering to keep track of the time, setting the timer, for example. I wonder about dealing with someone who challenges the process and refuses to play by the "rules."
My biggest challenge has been getting together a group of people to do it with me. Other challenges I imagine are -forgetting what people say, -handling a heated discussion where speakers go on and on and/or listeners aren't listening (tips for regrouping). -dealing with emotionally charged situations where I also feel my own emotions getting engaged.
I thnk I need help in motivating new people to try empathy circles.
I imagine participants being disrespectful and impatient but Lou demonstrted this very well.
I can imagine that if someone wasn't on board with the EC process and got unruly, it could be challenging to know how to manage it. I could also imagine difficulty if a speaker was speaking in a triggering or offensive way. My understanding is the job of the listener is to hear and understand the speaker. Are there ever any rules about what the speaker can speak about or how?
Sticking to planned timing while dealing with aggressive participants.
not having mental capacity to participate, how to proceed
I tend to interfere too quickly instead of relaxing and trusting the process. I want to be a good student and perform well which takes away my attention to the actual circle.
today it was a silent listener speaking out of turn, speaker not pausing for reflection, in the past listener adding their opinions to their reflection, listener or speaker objecting to format - all of these were addressed well in the circle and I feel more prepared now
people crying and I am not sure how to respond
Write a question you think we could add to this post-session survey?
“How will you apply the learning gained in session 1 in future?”
I can't think of any at the moment.
Do you think these circles are needed?
What is something you learned in this session?
None, at the moment.
Do you have any questions you'd like to ask about the session or anything that occurred during it?
nothing I can think of
What is something you learned about yourself from this session?
What was a highlight of the session for you?
Any other questions/comments/concerns?
What is motivating you to continue this course?
Any other questions or concerns about last week's session?
What would you change about the training?
Can't think of anything right now. All important questions seem to have been asked. Maybe ask feedback on the trainers? This might help them improve and do better.
maybe "how do you plan to support a culture of empathy this week?"
What did you learn?