We are pleased to announce the launch of weekly online Heart Circles for Leading Change Together facilitated by HBI Board Member and heart-centered trainer Derick Carter. Join this relaxed and supportive gathering and make heart-level connections and nurture well-being through shared interests, understanding, and purpose. If you are a change agent, current traditional positional leader, or emerging leader passionate about discovering new ways of addressing today’s systemic challenges, this Circle is for you!
an invitation for Current and emerging leaders and change agents
Dates for this month: September 6, 13 and 20, 2023
Time: 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM (U.S. Eastern Time)
Where: Online, Zoom
Circles Offer Many Benefits
I find profound value working within circles, and here are some of my favorite benefits:
- The opportunity to share, learn and understand each other with our heart. As my Heart Circle participants feel for themselves, “When we share from the heart, we have an authentic opportunity to deeply realize that we are all connected.” Based on my experience as a heart-centered leadership trainer, I have found that the heart is the key to bringing a group together in a way that naturally shifts us to a more relationship-focused orientation. From here, we are able to see ourselves and our connection to each other more clearly, realizing that we are not separate. This change in perspective is huge as people can feel when we have their interests and/or the larger community needs at heart and this way of relating quickly spreads within a circle. And when a group’s hearts grow together beautiful things happen–shared interest can blossom into shared understanding, belonging naturally becomes togetherness, and shared purpose can be discovered.
- Reorienting our default patterns. A great benefit of participating in group circles is that it positively disrupts our default patterns in how we organize at work, in community, and within self.
- No assimilation required! Different than other past group experiences we may have had including committees, affinity groups, or caucuses, participating in a circle doesn’t require us to change our attitudes, behaviors and cultural norms to fit in. There is no direct pressure to assimilate, adapt or change who we are to be accepted, which I wrote about in a previous post on beyond belonging.
- This is a dynamic environment, and its evolution depends on group intent and interest. Each circle changes and grows over time and provides unique opportunities for building togetherness, shared understanding, and collective action. Types of circles can include listening and shared storytelling, deep experiential learning around specific topics, collaborative decision making, and action oriented for providing service or products to a community of stakeholders.
- Circles are a safe harbor for personal self-discovery. On a personal level, circles offer a safe environment for participants to self-reflect and become aware of their own habits, tendencies, and well-being needs so they can develop the skills, capacity and compassion to effectively move their group along the trajectory of change. The amount of change we can bring into the world is directly related to our willingness to change ourselves.
- Serving as an experimental training ground, leaders and change agents can experience and try out organizational learning and transformation models. For change agents and current and emerging leaders who are working within organizations and communities, circles offer a supportive structure to identify external group challenges, learn new future of work skills, and experience and pilot the new internal and external changes being rolled out into their work, family, and social environments. Circles are free from the organizational noise, hierarchical interference and other challenges that would normally be encountered in the workplace.
What is a learning circle?
- Circles are an age-old practice inspired by storytelling traditions that foster speaking and listening from the heart. They naturally people together to bear witness and share authentically.
- A circle is an intentional relational space that offers a safe place to meet and collectively nurture our own well-being, which increases our capacity to do good in the world.
- The circle approach supports a deep sense of community, shared understanding and interconnectedness. It allows space for individuals to find their voice and share their stories, cultivate a compassionate response to anger, defensiveness and violence as well as strengthen emotional health and resilience.
- Through experiencing deep listening and sharing from the heart, the circle builds positive relationships and neutralizes hierarchical dynamics formed by the inequality of status, race, or other social factors.
- We agree to speak one-at-a-time and share our personal stories and experiences—rather than opinions—and listen non-judgmentally while others do the same. In sharing and listening to universal stories about love, loss, fear, triumph, challenge, hope and other experiences, we can realize that despite our many differences we have much in common.
- What emerges from each circle reflects our shared humanity and collective wisdom.