13.C Feedback

34 responses

What was most valuable about this Session for you?

34 responses

  1. Connection & empathy

  2. ability to practice

  3. Getting into two challenges make me have feelings and emotions that I didn't think I would normally have but it was a good insight to very few of those killings were not being challenged and to keep myself personally I'm out of it so I don't really get totally involved and the disruption is challenge itself

  4. My understanding expanded by the end.

  5. The circles themselves

  6. Listening to, and being heard by, fellow participants in the Empathy Circle. I was able to talk through my current situation around empathy, share my challenges, and also be cared for by them.

  7. The practice. Even though I do mediation work, I find it and this still quite tiring so I think I need more practice to build up the emotional and listening endurance.

  8. Learning about myself and strategies for how to kick start and introduce to audience

  9. Deepening my understanding of the values connected with the process

  10. Getting deeper in the process as a facilitator and learning the key things that we must initiate and manage.

  11. The values we discussed were important

  12. Facilitation practice and receiving feedback

  13. The challenges.

  14. The facilitator practice

  15. Feeling the support of the entire group

  16. I enjoyed being able to practice being a facilitator and also really appreciated all of the feedback and, of course, listening to others thoughts and perspectives.

  17. Peoples ideas

  18. More practice

  19. Feedback & Support. Learning the moving parts.

  20. The practice of listening.

  21. The tips and tools that both trainers provided and their encouraging words to keep practicing because we don't get it right every time.

  22. Experiencing how important creating an atmosphere of trust is

  23. Repeating the process was useful

  24. Facing tougher challenges and getting feedback.


  26. Learning how to do and introduction

  27. Exploring the need to acknowledge feelings that are strongly expressed (if that person is comfortable with that) as a part of making the person feel fully heard.

  28. Lou's introduction was very clear

  29. I liked the communication flow during the circle

  30. the real time situations, emotions, and responses that emerged.

  31. the debriefing for participants and debriefing post session with just facilitator trainers and trainees.

  32. Facilitation challenges

  33. Practicing facilitation with challenges

  34. To keep practicing, there is a lot of levels to this, but also to try not to overthink it. I appreciated the feedback on humanity and being genuine. The challenges were also good to work through.

  35. Being given an equal opportunity to participate, and give my input after. Everyone was treated respectfully.

What would you change about the Session to make it better for you?
34 responses

  1. N/A

  2. Nothing

  3. Nothing!

  4. nothing

  5. No ideas.

  6. I'm not sure. i'm still taking it in.

  7. I'd like more time to ask questions about the process for the purpose of learning about being a facilitator. Having participated in 2 empathy circles already, I wish we'd had more "teaching" about how to facilitate them, rather than being in them.

  8. It really was great.


  10. Nothing

  11. the instructions sometimes is unclear for me and would like to see better instructions + distinctions + modeling prior to practice.

  12. I would make it that we discussed the values more indepth before we go into workgroups

  13. I can't think of anything: the task was clearly stated and it was useful

  14. This is the first time I have ever felt negative about an empathy circle experience. At this moment, I am unclear what the role of the Trainee, Trainer and these practice circles are. I thought the purpose of these circles was to teach participants to facilitate Empathy Circles on our own. I also thought the role of the Trainee was to organize each practice circle in such a way as to maximize our learning experience, and the Trainer's role is to guide and support the Trainee (among other things), just like the Trainee is guiding us students in facilitating? I'd like more clarity on what these roles are, because that sets the expectations I have for how the circles are run, and what the Trainee/Trainers are doing.

  15. Today, I had a negative experience with my circle Trainee, Evelyn. The timing and structure of our practice rounds was not explained by Evelyn in the beginning, and she did not control the time well for each facilitator. She did not agree with Lou up front when and for how long the debriefs would happen. I believe this is partly why we went "over" time (in her perception) when I was facilitating, and Lou was giving me feedback. Yet, this is the most valuable part of the learning for me as a student, debriefing my facilitation and getting feedback. In the previous two circles, the Trainee ensured every person gave the facilitator feedback on their practice. This time, Evelyn rushed us through it - only Lou got to give me feedback, and when he gave a second piece of feedback, she said (in what I perceived to be an annoyed tone), that she wanted every student to get equal time to facilitate and we wouldn't have that if we kept going. I felt shut down, cut off, and did not want to participate any more. I felt like she was blaming me (or maybe Lou) for taking too much time, yet it was HER job (in my opinion) to organize the time so I could both practice AND get sufficient feedback.

  16. It was clear to me at the end of our practice that she did not prioritize or value feedback and debriefing the way Lou and I did, because when we had only a few minutes left to debrief the last student, she went first and said, "I think we've already debriefed enough today" through all the interactions and scenarios we experienced (paraphrased). I do not agree at all.

  17. I acknowledge that the way I handled her leadership, and my responses and feelings, may have hurt her feelings as well, and did not help the situation. I'm not saying I would have done any better or have the perfect answer.

  18. But, I don't feel she has the same accountability for her words, actions and behaviours. She said she "felt judged" when I shared my feelings, and I perceived her comments as defending her actions, without ever acknowledging my upset and hurt as a consequence.

  19. As I said, this is the first negative experience I've had in any of our empathy circles or buddy calls (including a buddy call I had with her). There was talk in our circle by another student and Evelyn that we had to account for the "culture" of people - not just race or ethnicity (said the student). Note: I am Chinese, and Evelyn is white. However, what I felt was not a lack of cultural respect, it was a lack of EMPATHY and HUMAN respect. To my mind, it is adding insult to injury to throw on "culture" as an excuse.

  20. Last thing - Evelyn made a comment when Soppadla (who is from India and speaks English with a non-American accent) asked her to be his Active Listener. Her response was, "I'll try, I'm not used to your accent, but I'll try". At the time, I felt more challenged by her comment than anything fake challenge Lou issued. As a Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion practitioner, her comment really triggered me, and I noted my response but did not speak up in the circle. I also had trouble understanding Soppadla sometimes, for various reasons - some to do with his audio quality, some to do with his English pronunciation. I think I understand Evelyn's intent, but her choice of words - just like her choice of words telling me I'm out of time - could have been better. For example, she could have said, "I'll try, sometimes I have trouble hearing you, but I want to listen to you and I'll do my best." There was no need to refer to his "accent" (which is a very white and Western-centered way of elevating North American or European English pronunciation as the proper way.)

  21. Better explanation at the beginning. Perhaps one PPT slide or some other form of visualization would have helped?

  22. Not sure

  23. I needed to be more present

  24. nothing.

  25. Directions at the beginning of the breakout session about the schedule and if we will have a short break. my facilitator recognized that we needed one and I appreciated that.

  26. Nothing at this time

  27. Clearer description of the role of Trainer and Trainee. Clearer timing - determine the exact time allotted to each participant at the beginning of the session.


  29. Give another chance to introduce an empathy circle.

  30. Some more time to debrief with the small group

  31. time management for all to have equal time, although I was ok with how it all worked out.

  32. May want to consider putting more emphasis on introducing the circle and identifying roles : speaker, active listener, silent listener, fascinator. Notice participants struggle with that part when they act as facilitator.

  33. Maybe it could be shorter, with less time devoted to facilitating a circle

  34. Perhaps the reflection after the practice could be done in small groups (new groups)

  35. More practice time; less time at the beginning and end (maybe only have trainers sharing in a separate debrief after class is over?)

  36. Can't think of anything

  37. That when it is the turn of the Active Listener to be Speaker, that the individual not respond to the opinion of Speaker whose opinions the person reflected .It appears then that the person is judging and /or giving an opinion or advice.

What questions are in your mind right now about facilitating Empathy Circles?
34 responses

  1. The steps I need to do this week.

  2. still early in the process to respond

  3. None at this point

  4. Timing.

  5. None to share for now.

      1. 1. If the only way to speak is to first be a listener - how does the facilitator manage people's turns so everyone who wants to speak gets to speak as often as they need? (Or is that the point - you don't get to speak as often as you need?)

  6. 2. If you hear someone going outside the boundaries of their role (e.g. giving advice as a listener vs. just reflecting back), how long do you wait before you interrupt?

  7. What is someone threatens someone or talks about self-harm?

  8. Will we get any kind of certificate as a Certified trainer to start conducting empathy circle

  9. How to approach people and awaken their interest to join an Empathy Circle? What comes after the empathy circle process?

  10. none so far.

  11. N/A

  12. More than questions, I am curious about module 2 contents. But I see that I need first to master module 1 contents and skills

  13. I wonder what I would do if I was facilitating a circle, and one of the participants had a conflict with me (like I had with Evelyn.) What are some ways to handle that, as both facilitator and participant? If we're in an EMPATHY CIRCLE, should there be a safe space (not just brave) in the circle to talk through the disagreement? Or if it involves the facilitator, should it be taken outside the circle, so the other participants aren't disrupted? What if the affected participant is so negatively impacted (as I was) that they can't or won't continue in the circle - should the facilitator take a time out to try and reconcile with the participant, so everyone can carry on? Is there a time when a participant *should* leave (or be asked to leave) in the middle of a circle?

  14. None

      1. Same old, same old - how can I get people to participate in an empathy circle?

  15. How to best manage all the tasks as a facilitator? How to be able to fully listen while doing those tasks?

  16. This needs an explosion of facilitators, there are many unaddressed needs!

  17. How do get more actively involved in holding them and being a part of them.

  18. need to digest.

  19. No questions right now

  20. If people choose what's alive in them and it is offensive to others, how to keep the respect and and your credibility in managing a circle that people can trust?

  21. no questions about facilitating empathy circles. I do want to know what the roles of trainer and trainee are respectively.

  22. Any possible legal accountability?


  24. When do we call for an empathy circle

  25. What if someone threatens someone in the circle? And, you talked about checking back in with someone who expressed some suicidal thoughts but at what point do you call police/911? I know that is a last resort, but just wondering.

      1. I need to have more clarity about "just sharing" and not "taking action", as a purpose of the empathy circle

      2. I understand the aim of the circle. However, I feel there is something missing there for me

  26. Four more weeks to go! :)

  27. when and how to insert myself as facilitator when disruption occurs.

  28. n/a

  29. So far, so good

  30. How to find people willing to engage in Empathy Circles; how to handle people who are belligerent, antagonistic or just disengaged within the circle

  31. How to start doing it more regularly and around what topics? Where is it most needed and where would it be effective?

  32. What comes next? How much practice , on average, would a group of individuals ( Adults, youth and children) need, to actually learn to listen attentively to another person speaking, to empathize.

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.)
28 responses

  1. A future challenge might be facilitating a broad cross section of participants

  2. I'm not sure what I was doing for a while but I have experienced a lot of challenges thought USA hearing voices in I was trained to make sure that the process was not badly affected by people that become a problem and that was a good thing non

  3. Judgmental interruptions.

  4. Nothing that needs to be addressed now.

  5. I think I will be personally challenged to both keep time as a Facilitator, AND speak/listen when it's my turn. I feel it will be a big distraction cause I'll constantly be worried about time. I don't really have any ideas about it, other than to try hard not to think about it too much and rely on the timer (but then I won't have a 30 sec warning).

  6. If someone states racist, hurtful things about a group that are simply hate speech. At what point do you not allow that?

  7. How to ask clarifying questions if we could not understand what they are reflecting. kind of any unknown words, or any situations

  8. Dealing with people's expectations. Some people feel very much under pressure to remember everything they have heard. In at least two different sessions there were people with autism or ADHD.

  9. none so far

  10. The problem of asking questions

  11. People interrupting each other

  12. Participants being "too" polite/nice and not getting much out of the circle

  13. None

  14. Dealing with my own strong emotion while facilitating.

  15. Explaining the guidelines in a clear and concise way, especially to people who have English as their 2nd language. Being sure to hold the time in a respectful but also effective way.

  16. Thinking well on my feet

  17. Methods to assist when emotions spill over or disruption by someone.

  18. Reframing and making this simple for the person I am reframing for.

  19. In a circle that I facilitated a speaker stated that they did not feel fully heard and they were a bit irritated with the listener. It made the other participants feel awkward and it mad the listener feel bad. it was my fault because I didn't model active listening in the beginning but once their time was up, I went back and became the active listener so I could model for them. Next time I will provide that modeling in the beginning.

  20. People being distracted or dismissive

  21. Someone just get angrier and angrier


  23. Language barriers.

  24. When I did a circle with friends, they referred to things they knew about the speaker from the past when rephrasing. I assume to let it go until it happens a few times and then address the need to stick to the speaker's experience only.

  25. none at the moment. they were answered during this session.

  26. n/a

  27. People who find it too structured, e.g. don't like the formality of roles, can only speak when it's your turn, etc. One person told me they didn't have the energy to follow the rules; and that it didn't feel like a real conversation.

  28. Yes, videos demonstrating challenges would be great! (As I think Selene mentioned.)

  29. How to manage language barriers or circles with multiple languages being spoken.

  30. Need more practice to keep time and facilitate simultaneously.

Write a question you think we could add to this post-session survey?
34 responses

  1. N/A

  2. None

  3. Did you experience any moments of discomfort?

  4. Good empathy circle facilitator topic ideas?

  5. None at the moment.

  6. I don't have any...

  7. Would you like to facilitate such training as a trainer along with the existing trainer

  8. No question

  9. NA

  10. How do we continue to workout ego and narcissistic behaviors.

  11. A question asking for feedback/suggestions for the trainees.

  12. no question

  13. What type of facilitation would you want this to serve 1) community 2) country 3) world

  14. What will you do more of, less of, or the same?

  15. Does what you learned today make you comfortable enough to facilitate in the next session on facilitating?

  16. What is your comfort level on a scale from 1 to 10? This way you can see week over week if people are starting to feel comfortable about facilitating a circle. I was initially at a 4 in my first week and I went down to a 3 in my 2nd sessions but now I feel like I am at a 5. I see progress!

  17. N/A. THANK YOU!!!


  19. n/a - thank you... this is GREAT

  20. What would you have done differently in any of the roles that I played? What were some of your biggest learning/teaching moments?

  21. n/a

  22. What sort of practice are youn planning to hace this week?

  23. Can't think of any.

  24. How many of us are willing to start an Empathy Circle group in a country or at a company where we work, where the culture is not open to honest communication?