What was most valuable about this Session for you?
Connecting with other people.
Validation and confidence from repeating the session again and being able to see how much I’ve developed since the last time.
Get to know other like minden folks
The interaction I had in the small circle, how philosophic it became but at the same time so well anchored in our reality and the easiness with which the conversations flowed from one to another, having continuity and not being interrupted when the other started talking about himself. We related to one another and I really felt listened.
Clarification from Lou that there are times when reflecting may include empathy based on intuitive listening and times when using someone's words to reflect is more helpful.
The circle. as well as connecting with the others in it.
Validation of my own facilitating skills
The confidence gained from being able to practice, compare and reflect since the last training to see development.
The whole session has been extremely valuable for me, mostly because I was concerned about theoretical aspects, which by the end of our group have wiped away through learning by doing. I loved the idea of learning to facilitate by doing so in a safe environment and receiving feedback.
I.) As speaker I realized that "correcting" the active listner (AL) was less about theAL getting it "right" and more about emphasizing/getting across what was important or alive in me. That the part of the message that was missed, was important to me. II.) Experiencing/thinking about possible challenges.
I feel like the whole session has brought me so many things that it is difficult to choose. The experience of seeing how I would react to challenging participants/situations brought new understandings about myself and some comfort in knowing that as a facilitator I can "control" the way the circle goes, firmness being needed sometimes, that we can make mistakes and it's ok if things don't go perfectly or as I planned.
The range of challenges and perspectives helped expand insight and self awareness. Some really important lessons.
There are a few things that stayed with me after this session such as: how important it is to add "whatever it's alive in you" when setting the topic as it may offer the opportunity to speak about something else than the proposed subject; choosing carefully when to intervene in order to leave time for the other to talk and address the situation before doing it myself from the facilitator role.
What would you change about the Session to make it better for you?
I wish the instructions for the listener were clearer.
I would have reminders from last time to then help me take them in better so I don’t forget.
Free conversation end of each breakout room 10 mins
Lately I find myself in search of structure and, even though I know this is essentially an experiential training, I am also in wishing for some more theoretical guidance, if not actual theory during training, then maybe some materials to read for the next session.
A chance to stretch! Maybe coming in or out of the breakout rooms?
1) I should have prepared myself for the exercise. 2) Instructions for part 2 i.e. after the introduction should be a little clearer.
INCREASE FEELINGS OF INCLUSIVITY Feedback for the new trainees could be to consider the order of interaction in the large group to increase participant feelings of inclusivity. So when going around check ins or briefing, focus on Facilitators feedback first, Trainees second then Edwin and company last. Also its easier to do this when you use the participant name panel instead of videos images that move and this reduces the risk of missing someone.
I can only think of the things I could've done differently while presenting the How to part, other than that for me it was an enriching experience and I appreciate all the feedback I have been offered.
Having both experiences of doing the "How to" and receive feedback immediately afterwards and also having this one where I received feedback on the "How to" and facilitation at the end of my time as facilitator, I can say that it helped me more to receive it gradually (doing "How to" , feedback on it, facilitation, feedback on it). Somehow I felt like the feedback for the "how to" part got lost on the way, as talking about facilitation and challenges took all the space, and I was curious to see how the presentation on "how to" went as well.
I felt I misunderstood something at the beginning of the circle that caused me to behave incorrectly.
I think it was exactly what I needed, I wouldn't change a thing about it, maybe just some more time to go deeper into the topics we had in the circle, as they were very interesting.
What questions are in your mind right now about facilitating Empathy Circles?
How to find people during lockdown and meeting in a safe way since a lot of people have not been vaccinated yet.
Torn between wanting to keep a simple circle with a loose topic or try to generate a structured progressive journey.
How find interested people and how organise alone later on?
My main concern here is how to manage situations when one of the participants says he/she doesn't have anything to share. Do we just go to the next person, do we sit with the silence? What if they are not comfortable with the silence? And what if when their turn comes again, this scenario repeats itself?
Curious about the part nonverbal communication plays in the EC process.
What does it take to maintain an ongoing EC circle ?
1) Is it really okay to only practice with 1 other person? 2) Struggling with ways to say I don't feel heard, especially in situations where I am repeatedly not heard at all. 3) Conflict between heart and analysis - how generous should I be if there are errors in the active listener's feedback?
Doubts and questions about me being too submissive/lacking boundaries to hold the practice (unless participants just behave "right".) and a silly limiting belief about "leaving it to the grown ups" because my bias sees other participants as older (though my awareness knows there are younger participants!). Improving knowledge on my strengths and weaknesses, why my style is a beneficial facilitator style, not to feel ashamed of weaknesses and what to do about them.
Is there something i can do as a facilitator in situations where I feel one of the participants is not really present or reflects what the speaker's saying "robotically"?
Would like to know more about what happens after the course is finished. Do we have to repeat it, and, if so, how often? What are the criteria?
I'm planning to organize an EC that might turn out into a Empathy Cafe - I will have an EC beforehand with another 3-4 persons that will support me in organizing the Cafe, so that they go through this experience first, but they will not be trained as facilitators. So, I was wondering how could I help them to hold the space and what if they encounter challenging participants/situations in their circle/breakout room - is there something I could do before the session? During it I'm afraid it will be more difficult as I will have to facilitate my own circle at that moment.
How to manage my emotions and inner critical voice causing my limiting beliefs. (Ongoing personal Development).
I'm wondering what the next steps are after session 5.
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.)
Overcoming the need to just have a conversation. Retention issues/understanding issues and dealing with them - I think I found one solution by simply including it in my feedback as a listener, i.e. simply stating that I don't remember, lost the thread or need the speaker to repeat a point I didn't understand.
Someone just not being able to think of anything to say but them having said they are being there to learn how to speak but how to encourage them or get them started? Don’t want them to be put off and give up.
How to scale up alone? How can find team members?
Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to facilitate an Empathy Circle yet, but I think that the questions I wrote above are quite in the same area of challenging scenarios that i could see happening.
Wondering how to handle a situation where someone gets triggered, either as a speaker, active listener or silent listener.
Talking to someone with very low listening comprehension skills. This means that I am speaker/listener and teacher in one. Very exhausting.
PURPOSE OF NOTE TAKING Part of the introduction states listeners can take notes. I have a case of a girl in my circles who has been becoming increasingly dependent on note taking to the point where it now feels she is not authentic, makes the speaker feel they have to wait whilst she writes and is just reciting back what she wrote. She is sort of developing a state of learned helplessness and I don't wish to enable it but need to find the words and approach to take. (I am also dealing with my own feelings of annoyance, failure and anxiety about confronting it "not having the words, not wanting to have to awkwardly find the words in front of everyone, stumble and risk losing facilitator authority, credibility or favour" which is freezing me in the moment it is happening so I need time outside it to find out to then return and solve. ) 1. Can you clarify further what the purpose of note keeping during a circle should be? Is this a support mechanism to help them when its their turn to speak and also to help them reflect? 2. How do I breach this with her when initially she was told she could but now I need to try to wean her off them and she'll have become comfortable? Do I approach this with the whole group without directing it at her, her in front of the group or her on her own?
I checked the list of challenges and I can only say there are so many that went through my mind, I'm just curious to see how we're gonna handle them in the session, considering this is going to be our topic.
What to do when Speaker is choosing the previous speaker to be the listener, the reason being to respond directly to what the speaker said? In the same area would be what if somebody is chosen to be Active Listener before everybody else has taken their turns? Also, I'm wondering what happens when a Silent Listener is interrupting the Speaker in order to respond?
One challenge I have weekly is a specific male participant complimenting me which is becoming embarrassing as it was initially gratitude which fitted the context the first time but after repeat expressions is becoming too personal. I feel it sort of undermines my facilitator role in front of everyone like I’m not dealing with it professionally or something correct and I feel like it’s my fault for being too warm and friendly and not being whatever it is other know to people do. I don’t want to have to stop being myself but I’m also trying to work out how to deal with it because of fear of setting a boundaries and receiving abuse back. Is this a common problem for female facilitators? He privately messaged me several times trying to meet me one to one for a walk and given I’ve hosted the circles through a meet up group tries to justify it that way so I’ve had to politely push him back on the walk request 2 or 3 times now. He has also asked 3 separate times in front of different people if or/and when I’ll hold face to face circles in a way that makes me feel put on the spot. His behaviour sets off a lot of triggers in me which makes it all more challenging. I know I need to do my work on me.
Write a question you think we could add to this post-session survey?
Don't have a question right now.
Nothing that comes to mind at the moment
A question about felt experience... something like, "What feelings did you notice during the session?" Helping people to self-observe and share seems supportive of the process.
None that's crossing my mind at the moment
Nothing I can think of right now
None that I can think of right now