The answer to that is four to five people ideally. The extended information about that, is that the goal is to get to a third or fourth speaking turn for each person. The reason that four or five is an ideal size is because if you're taking five minute turns to get to a third or fourth speaking turn is about an hour and a half to two hours, which is kind of the max.
That's a lot of time for people to participate but it's very delicious if you if you're able to get people to go for that much time. You can have a very deep wonderful conversation. As a facilitator, if you are have less time with people, like you only have an hour, you can only get them to commit to an hour, then you might consider taking shorter speaking turns like three minutes a piece. If you have more people then it's more difficult to get to the third or fourth speaking turn but if you really want the magic of the empathy circle to start happening, it's usually on the third or fourth speaking tern that that starts to happen. So you want to adjust the parameters of length of speaking turn time together and number of people to try to get to a third or fourth turn. That's the way to think about it .
Extra Note: Another reason for 4 or 5 participants is so that people have more time to be involved as a speaker and active listener. It creates for active involvement for all the participants instead of just sitting around and listening to others.
Question: What is a good size for an Empathy Circle?
Name: Raised from feedback
Answer: 4-5 people. The goal is to get to a 3rd or 4th speaking turn. The reason is because if you’re taking 5 minute to get to a 3rd or 4th turn is around 2 hours which is a lot of time. If you can do that time, you can have a wonderful time in the experience.
As a facilitator, if you have less time then consider 3 minutes a turn. If you have more people, it’s more difficult to get to each 3rd turn. So basically adjust the length of time together vs the number of people to try to get to a 3rd or 4th turn.