12.E Evaluation

OBJECTIVE 1-a: Do you feel you understand and are familiar with the goals, values, and the core structure of the Empathy Circle?

Objective 1-b: Explain your choice? What specifically caused these results?

  • This was my first level of training I think it is an overall clear and simple process but there is more to learn

  • Everything was well developed and presented

  • ?

  • Trainers and trainees all clearly explained the goals, values & core structure of the EC. The materials provided were thorough and informative.

  • Repetition

  • Desire to increase my listening skills

  • They were explained both in writing and verbally to the cohort.

Objective 1-c: What might have supported you in better achieving this Objective?

  • I think having at least one empathy circle that is just a discussion of empathy circles at the beginning without any rigid rules would be great. Facilitators can spend too much time on the rules and it interferes with the humanity.

  • NA

  • Less brain fog on my part.

  • The well structured course content together with the incorporated opportunity to feed in questions and the ability to talk to trainers/trainees in between sessions

  • Some written handouts on the core values

  • Becoming an active listener or listening to reflect

  • Since this training is describes as a foundational gateway, maybe having more info about future skills to develop beyond these. Also sharing up front what the requirements are to be a trainer with Empathic Circles.

OBJECTIVE 2-a: Do you feel confident and comfortable with beginning to facilitate?
Objective 2-b: Explain your choice? What specifically caused these results?

  • Practice and reinforcement was key

  • ?

  • The sessions with potential challenging situations were very useful plus seeing how others cope with challenges.

  • Being able to practise facilitation during the sessions was invaluable and also the built-in option to ask for challenges. Because of my schedule I haven't yet managed to organise and facilitate my own circles but with practise I feel like my confidence will grow.

  • Past experience in other empathy circles and my teaching experience.

  • The Empathy Cycle training is practical base

  • I have experience facilitating and doing a circle with a familiar audience; my hesitation is facilitating the format in a contentious environment.

What might have supported you in better achieving this Objective?

  • I would like to have had more time with just questions and answers in a small group setting where I get to pick who is in my circle.

  • All good

  • ?

  • Less judgement on my part.

  • I can't think of anything that needed to be added.

  • All was ok

  • Break out session where we take turn to be active speaker or listener

  • Having agreements for the circle that everyone agrees to before the circle begins. They could be as simple as 1) We will be respectful and assume good faith in one another. 2) We will be open to examining our own perspectives and biases. 3) We will follow the Empathy Circle process as described by the facilitator.

OBJECTIVE 3-a: Do you feel you are leaving with strong bonds with other participants and a mutual support network?

Objective 3-b: Explain your choice? What specifically caused these results?

  • I have bonded very well with a few folks. I have met one person who is now a part of my life in a very beautiful way.

  • Connections made with indelible impressions

  • ?

  • There are various people who have suggested buddy calls over and above those allocated.

  • I didn't manage to fully engaged with a bully call system but had it 1 or 2 and and will definitely try and contact them for more sessions.

  • Not sure if the people I felt a connection with in the empathy buddy chats actually wanted or had the time to connect with me after the course was over.

  • Participants willing to listen to each other empathically and not to jugmentally

  • It was great to meet folks and interact with them. Most people seemed pretty busy in their own lives. I have reached out to a few without success, and I too feel a bit challenged time-wise to meet the requests I got post-program.

Objective 3-c: What might have supported you in better achieving this Objective?

  • I didn't know about the buddy calls, so that would have been good to talk about. Also I had one buddy call that went for over 2 hours and turned more into an interview where he was asking me personal questions and making judgments.

  • NA

  • N/A

  • Having more time in a week to accept and initiate further buddy calls.

  • I can't think of anything that could have been added.

  • I think a smaller group would have created more stronger class bonding.

  • Openess, kindness

  • Having a follow up for the group 3+ weeks out; and again 6 mos out, perhaps?


I LIKE. . . . . What did you like about the training?

  • I liked Edwin and the others. I loved Dwayne. I loved getting to know amazing people who care about empathy as much as I do.

  • Everything

  • Really welll-organzied

  • Everything-the people, the community, the process, the sharing, the skills, the empathy.

  • The length and the intensity was just right for me - challenging but with such a supportive and welcoming structure and culture

  • Clear instructions. Good role modelling.

  • Facilitators give room for trainees to be actively involve, practical base, freedom to talk about what boarders you. Excellent conflict resolution skill

  • Meeting the others and hearing their stories.

I WISH . . . . What do you wish for regarding the training?

  • I wish that it was a little shorter in length of session. They are a little exhausting.

  • To be together in person

  • More emphasis on self-observation and self-empathy as part of what you can expect from empathy circles.

  • That more and more people experience it.

  • On the first session there seemed to be some participants that hadn't yet attended a facilitation circle and so weren't sure how it worked .. align the space to understand during the first empathy circle practise was somewhat challenging but then again I did there quite a lot through that process.

  • The participants were told they could have bio breaks when they needed but I noticed in some sessions that either the trainer or traine leading the sesions were really tired out and not fully present - they also need bio breaks.

  • Retraining of trainees until values of Empathy is embedded in them

  • There had been a demo re handling trauma-inducing incidents (pick any of the isms); having experience and seeing conflict handled in large group (we did some of this in smaller group).

WHAT If . . . . What next steps would you like to suggest or offer for the training?

  • I would like to see it tested out with different kinds of groups and experiment with various kinds of content or social problems.

  • Can't think of anything

  • None I can think of.

  • See below

  • I can't think of anything right now but I would like to become a trainee my only issue is a less than reliable internet connection sometimes.

  • Dr Bruce Perry advice to school teachers is to help kids first get regulated before they try to educate them. He suggests doing some warm up activities /ice breaker games etc to get the brain ready for learning or relating. Professor Paul Gilbert (founder of Compassion focused therapy) also recommends doing a variety of movement , breathing and imagery exercises to get the brain in the right state to relate in a compassionate way. I have done his compassionate mind training course and like his warm up exercises.

  • Remote conference for all trainees by facilitators to monitor

  • progress

  • I wonder what is the reason someone needs to take the training 5x to be a "certified facilitator" and it would have been helpful to hear someone speak about their experience and how that regime was useful to them.


REQUEST: What sort of tools, resources, support, etc. would you like to request for supporting you in facilitating Empathy Circles and building a Culture of Empathy?8 responses

  • Maybe find organizations that want to fund research and experimental projects.

  • None

  • ?

  • Continued sharing and lightness of being.

  • Continuing contact

  • Everything is available if I needed it.

  • Laptop for remote meetings and finance for other logistics

  • I'm guessing one could show up at an open circle and ask questions if they arose or contact one of the trainers, though I'm not sure.

OFFER: What would you like to offer to support the empathy training project?

  • Anything.

  • Possibly starting this program in Spanish. And will be sending donation

  • Not sure I wan to be a facilitator trainer. More interested in being a participant.

  • Some of my time and expertise

  • I I would like and we'll recommend friends come on on to the cohorts and as I said before for I would like to become a trainee.

  • I am a qualified Biology teacher and have a special interest in what is called " state dependent brain function" - basically teachers need to get the brain in the right state for both emphatic listening and learning. I have lots of ideas of warm up activities and bio break activities that could help students and the trainers feel less fatigued by the whole training process.

  • Publicity

  • I'm happy to refer people to it if they want basic practice in reflective listening.

What next steps would you like to take?

Do you have any suggestions for the design of this evaluation? i.e. any questions to ask? etc. Thank You!

  • It is pretty darn good the way it is.

  • All good

  • Anxious to take Edwin's new course of the meaning of empathy or whatever it is he is workin gon.

  • Thank you it had been my ambition to join the training for over a year since watching Edwin facilitate and extinction rebellion discussion between Skeener and Rupert but faced a number of obstacles (technology and schedule) but when I decided that I could join the process was very joined up and smooth and it has been a real life-changing experience.

  • No

  • Thank you all so much! If I were a fly on the wall seeing how you use these I might have a suggestion. I really appreciated that you addressed the feedback questions at the start of each new session. I felt heard though perhaps not always understood but I own that. Hope to see you again at a Empathy Circle Cafe. If you come to nYC to set up an empathy tent I hope you'll let me know. Wishing you all all the best.