Facilitator Community and Mutual Support
Part of being an Empathy Circle facilitator is to be part of a community and have mutual support from other facilitators. That is so you can support each other when you host Empathy Circles, Cafes, and other projects. As a facilitator, it is important to have as much personal support as possible. By support, we mean where you can share and be empathically heard, feel a connection, or get assistance, have a sense of community, have questions answered, etc. It might feel stressful, anxious, confusing, overwhelming to facilitate Empathy Circles.
This is especially true when we move into conflict resolution which can feel quite stressful and challenging. Also when facilitating circles with people who are dealing with deep emotional issues like alienation, depression, grief, trauma, anger, mental illness, dysfunction, addiction, etc. We need to support each other in facilitation.
Your Empathy Buddy Call: Facilitator Community and Mutual Support
Part of being an Empathy Circle facilitator is to be part of a community and to have mutual support with other facilitators. You can support each other when you host Empathy Circles, Cafes, and other projects. As a facilitator, it is important to have as much personal support as possible.
See Tips for Scheduling Your Empathy Buddy Call: The scheduling can be a challenge with finding a time that works. Different time zones also can complicate connection. Use this page to post ideas and resources for how to do efficient scheduling.
We have paired you up with someone else in the training Cohort.
(Every week we will pair you with a different participant.)
Between now and the next Session, connect with that person. Have a 30 minute mutual support call on Zoom or Skype, etc. Feel free to do it longer if you have the time and inclination.
If schedules don't allow for you to connect.. Don't worry about it, just do your best. You may not be able to connect every week due to scheduling conflict.
Person 1 gets 15 minutes to talk about their experience in the training while Person 2 empathically listens (i.e. reflects back what the speaker is saying.)
·What is your experience so far in the training?
·What are your concerns, expectations, etc.?
·Or just talk about what is alive for you?
Then switch roles and Person 2 talks for 15 minutes and Person 1 empathically listens.
> Report back on how it went in the next Session.
Forms of Support
An empathy buddy is someone you can talk to one on one.
We all need support in our lives. This helps ground us, helps with thinking more clearly, helps with releasing pent up frustrations, etc. These calls can be structured in different ways, for example
Two facilitators meet for an hour, each person get 30 minutes to share and get empathically heard,
Two facilitators meet for an hour, and one facilitator gets heard for the full hour. Then in the next meeting, the other facilitator gets heard for an hour.
The calls can be structured in a way that works for everyone.
Personal Support Facilitation Training Buddies
We will have empathy buddies during the training.
Facilitation can be stressful. You can have a pre circle or post circle to be empathically heard. You share concerns you may have, which can be grounding. You get a bit of an empathy bath. When we set up the Empathy Tent out in public, for example, we start with the tent team having an Empathy Circle for a quick check in and grounding.
You may want to co-facilitate with another facilitator. This can take off some of the pressure of having all the responsibility for the circle. It's helpful to have a pool of facilitators you can reach out to that may co-facilitate a circle with you.
After an Empathy Circle, Empathy Cafe, Restorative Empathy Circle, where there were multiple breakout circles with facilitators in each one, the facilitators meet and debrief the call. They share their experiences, challenges, questions, learnings and discuss.
Facebook Empathy Circle Facilitator Support Group
This is a private Facebook Group for individuals that are in the process or have done the facilitator training. Click on the link to join the group.
Weekly Facilitators Support Group
This is a weekly Zoom call where you can come and share an Empathy Circle project you have. This can be an intention, idea, a plan or an actual in process project. You get 15 minutes to share the project and get feedback and support from other facilitators. Or just bring any questions, challenges, success, etc. that you'd like to share. The dates are usually every second Friday, and are announced on the Empathy Circle Development Email List.