all addThis is part three in a series of Q&A posts about the Circle effect. Last time we discussed what’s the nature of its force and WIIFM – what’s in it for me.

There are many tales and narratives talking about something magical in the form of a circle. Is that true?

Perhaps there is no accident in existence of Chorea (a circular dance accompanied by singing in ancient Greece) or in the Round Table of King Arthur or in the ancient habit of sages sitting down in a circle and holding a counsel. The circle symbolizes equality and perfection. No one is higher or lower, there is no left or right and no head of the table. There is only one parameter – the center of the circle and everyone is equal relative to it.

The center of our circle is a place of integration or convergence of all the participants’ aspirations.  So everyone is equal relative to the center as well to others. At the same time each person has his own character influences on the circle in his own unique way while the circle keeps complete equality between its participants. This way the circle creates the best setting to achieve connection and to tune-in into the common field.

What is happening with the Circle participants?

They gradually begin connecting with each other internally, they begin understanding each other and then start to complement each other. They try to rise above themselves, they try to find a common point of view, and then suddenly unanimity begins to form. This is exactly what is missing in today’s multi hour, mostly useless meetings.

They begin to feel commonality that is born between them. They feel that it is higher than them and they feel rejuvenated being a part of this newly found power. The participants begin to re-discover each other. They no longer wish to debate, argue or impose their opinion – they now want to add their input and to contribute to the common space. They are inspired by this collective experience; they seek this newly found collective wisdom. Eventually, this collaboration gives birth to the brand new realization – being a part of the integral field that they have just built, the space where they are empowered on a completely new level.

Sometimes the Circle doesn’t work. What are the proper conditions to reach the integral field?

The most important condition is a strict observance of the rules. All participants without exceptions must obey them. The facilitator or instructor should prepare the participants and monitor the observance of the rules during discussion. Though our experience shows that once people went through a number of circles they internalize the rules quickly.

We start with three Circle Guiding Principles:

  • The opinions of others are exceptionally important to me
  • My opinion is exceptionally important to others
  • There are no contradictions between our opinions

Then, the Circle rules that are simple and based on common sense:

We respect each other and treat everyone as a special person. We keep one single topic and everyone takes an active part in the discussion. No one should interrupt and/or argue. When another person talks we try to understand his thoughts, his aspirations, we try to be with him on the same wave. We are being honest and avoiding slogans and clichés. We strive to create a space of collaboration and trust and make all decisions collectively.

You can read more about them in the previous post “The Ideal Problem Solving Tool: The 10 Rules” or download a PDF here.