The Circle Way

This is one of the most powerful methods known to us. It has proved successful for centuries.
Because it is a way to meet on eye level. Thus, our social interaction very quickly arrives at a respectful level. It works with children as well as with adults. In dialogue as well as in family or in team.

A short insight of what the circle way is and what it can do for us…

Talking Stick / Talking Sphere / Talking Stone / Talking Feather

Do you know from experience how strenuous it is if you are talking about something and get interrupted repeatedly? Or if the people you are talking to are doing something else and signalize that their attention is distracted?
This will change with the talking stick.

No matter which object you hold in your hand – it is comparable to a microphone. This way, it is clear to everybody that now you have the floor und it is necessary to give you full attention.

The simple rules in the talking circle

  • If you have the object in your hand, you get full attention. You can speak or keep silence, until you give it to the next person.
  • You talk exclusively about yourself. You speak your mind; you talk about your own sentiments, etc. No “one”, no “you”.
  • You speak your best possible words.
  • Everyone listens attentively.
  • Everything that has been said is already in the circle and there is no need for another person to repeat it.
  • Everything spoken remains in the circle and is therefore protected.

It has proved helpful to have one person in the circle to moderate. He can remind others to stick to the topic. To get to the point. In addition, he makes sure everyone respects the rules.

Talking circles to arrive at solutions

The talking stick is only an instrument which is used in the circle way. To meet each other in a circle – sitting down or standing up – creates the frame in which everyone is seen on eye level. “We meet in a circle to make sure nobody talks behind another’s back!” With these words Angaanggaq – a shaman – opened his workshop. With the circle, we draw on nature, in which everything moves in cycles.

In the circle, it is not important WHO says something, but the fact that it has been said. Thus, the group moves on to a state in which the Ego steps into the background. This is the wisdom of the circle. Co-creation arises from it.

The order:

  • Giving thanks
  • State – who are you?
  • Opinion rounds, on-topic
  • As a result, the solution arises
  • Moderator sums it up
  • He asks if there’s any severe objection (part of sociocracy)

Decisions in Unity are the result of the Circle Way.
Why this is possible, you learn in the section Peacemaker Principles. Because this is one of the three mainstays of peace.

“Ideally, in the circle happens an opening of the hearts. “

Barbara Strauch – trained in sociocracy

Effects of the circle way:

  • A protected field free from judgement is created.
  • Opening of the hearts, confidence and connectedness
  • Problem solving in its finest form by way of the wisdom of the circle.
  • You get support
  • Skills become visible – for yourself and for the community
  • Your true nature can come to light

Compactly and easy to understand, the sage Indian Manitonquat passes on to us his experiences and the old methods of his tribe.
The book is a real treasure chest and the basic work of the circle way.
Manitonquat has led many circle-camps worldwide, from which circles have sprung which go this very way.

Very inspiring!

A conversation with Manitonquat from earlier years, in which he talks about the circle way

“By playing in the circle, the child experiences the circle shape: for the child in play doing and experiencing are one. To participate in the circle, does not only mean to be admitted to whichever aggregation: for here no one is ahead, and no one is always the last one, but everyone can bei beginning and and and ist sometimes this, sometimes that. Circle plays are a special practice of social conduct and experiencing. In them, community spirit gets visible. They a a primordial experience of democracy.”

Prof. Dr. med. Heinz St. Herzka, cited from the book: “Lebendiges Kreisspiel” by Susanne Stöcklin-Meier
Ambassador of peace 

Become an ambassador of peace