"How To" Empathy Circle
An Empathy Circle is a very simple structured dialogue process. The essence is that there is a Speaker and a Listener. The Listener must reflect back to the Speaker’s satisfaction what the Speaker has said. When the Speaker is satisfied it becomes the Listener’s turn to speak and be reflected back. An Empathy Circle is a really different kind of conversation. The fact that you must reflect what you have heard requires that you turn off your internal dialogue and listen. If you are thinking about your response you won’t be able to reflect accurately. And because you must listen and then reflect, when it is your turn to speak you haven’t already decided what you will say. This leads the conversation to unexpected places. Because the other person must be able to reflect, you must be measured in the amount you say and not go on and on without pausing. Because there is this small bit of structure, nobody may interrupt or dominate. This makes a big difference.