Talking, sharing and healing circles are useful when the topic under consideration has no right or wrong answer, or when people need to share feelings. Moral or ethical issues can often be dealt with in this way without offending anyone. The purpose of talking circles is to create a safe environment for people to share their point of view and experiences with others. This process helps people gain a sense of trust in each other. They come to believe that what they say will be listened to and accepted without criticism. They also gain an appreciation for points of view other than their own. During the circle time, people are free to respond however they want as long as they follow these guidelines.
Principles of Consultation
• Create understanding, commitment, trust among diverse members of the Human Family
• Identify opportunities and solve problems
• Determine the best course of unified action
Ten Principles for Success
1. Respect each participant and appreciate each other’s diversity. This is the prime requisite for consultation.
2. Value and consider all contributions. Belittle none. Withhold evaluation until sufficient information has been gathered.
3. Contribute and express opinions with complete freedom.
4. Carefully consider the views of others --- if a valid point of view has been offered, accept it as your own.
5. Keep to the vision at hand. Extraneous conversation may be important to community building, but it is not consultation, which is solution driven.
6. Share in the communities unified purpose --- desire for success of all concerned.
7. Expect the truth, with love and respect, to emerge from the clash of differing opinions. Optimum solutions emerge from a diversity of opinion.
8. Once stated, let go of opinions. Don’t try to ‘‘defend’’ your position, but rather let it go. Ownership causes disharmony among the circle and almost always gets in the way of finding the truth.
9. Contribute to maintaining a friendly atmosphere by speaking with respect courtesy, dignity, care, and moderation. This will promote unity and openness.
10. Seek consensus with dedication and prayer. But if consensus is impossible, let the majority rule. Remember, though, that decisions, once made, become the decision of every participant. After the community has decided, dissenting opinions are destructive to and undermine the success of the communities unified action and desired outcome. When decisions are undertaken with total community unity and support, wrong decisions can be more fully observed and corrected. This can't happen with disunity.
This is good stuff! Thanks!
good guidelines for living, in general
Thank You My Brother for posting this helpful method of practicing self- dicipline . This reminds me of how important it is that the words we say are understood , to most benefit , if they have a meaning that is universally understood . This lends much food for thought ...Thank You once again.
Thank you, Brother.
Sweet! Thankyou. Love and Light :)
Such good words here. They remind me of the words I was privilieged to hear some years ago from the man himself, Manitonquat, of the Wampanoag Nation and later to read in books on this subject he has written. His too, like the young lady who wrote of her work in the jail, was work dedicated to those who are behind bars, too. These teachings coming from many nations are ones all of us can benefit from whatever our backgrounds. Thank you so much for sharing. Many blessings -
I am working with the County Jail here in Newport, where we will offer the Talking Circle and the healing process can begin for Native women and men incarcerated. This article is a surprise to read, we are traveling in the same river - just in different canoe's. Thanks Brother Phil
miss having them in my homeplace..
rules to live by all the time, not just in circle. thanks for this xx
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