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The Circle as Process and Set-up for Peace

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How to use Circle Process to build relationships and resilience

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So we all know how to go round in a circle to give everyone a chance to report back - or do we? People are familiar with using a circle but haven’t necessarily thought about method. This session is to help anyone who facilitates group conversations, to develop their skills and consider how a few changes in format and structure vastly improve the quality of the outcome. Drawing on skills from the disciplines of Restorative Justice and Peacebuilding you will learn how to utilize what you thought was a familiar mechanism and take it to another level. This training can be applied to a myriad of different circumstances but is particularly useful where people are trying to handle difficult situations.

COVID has turned into a chronic crisis which has impacted everything we know and hold dear. Our natural response to threat is to gather together. The nature of this event has driven many into a place where they feel isolated. This is a tool that can be readily used on Zoom to bring people together, deepen a sense of belonging, build trust, and help us to process what is happening. This training is both experiential and reflective, with extended time given to understanding how the mechanics work, as well as time to consider how you could put them into practice. If you have already participated in a Circle Process this will be a great opportunity to look at how it’s done.

Steve Mansfield is a vicar in the diocese who provides training in coping with conflict, team-working styles, forgiveness and family systems. Steve is the Diocesan Mediation Service lead in interpersonal and group conflict transformation. He is also a Restorative Justice practitioner and has been leading the group in the diocese that has been studying the COVID crisis in the context of societal trauma.

jane.hood@chester.anglican.org

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