It is best if the circle is held in a neutral, off-site location where we can have a greater ease in creating the safe space we want.
We don’t have to have everybody in the circle. If one of the owners says “no I won’t participate”, that doesn’t necessarily stop the circle. Even if it's the person identified by most as the one causing all the problems.
Of course, we will try to hear “the beauty behind the no” if somebody does say no. We will try to empathize with their good reasons for saying ‘no’.
The main reason people say ‘no’ to coming into a circle, is because they think it’s going to be all about criticizing them.
This circle is not to put anybody on the spot. Nobody is going to answer charges. This is not a trial. But it is likely that people will in fact take responsibility for any harmful consequences of their action. They will want to.
The circle will create safe space highly conducive to empathic listening, deep honesty, and dialogue. The process should make it obvious to anybody there, that debates about who’s right and who’s wrong are pointless.
The circle will not be a business meeting with agenda items. No agenda items. Just who wants to start. Take the talking stick and speak from your heart. It is safe here. Nothing is off the table.
You can only speak when you have the talking stick in your hands.
When the talking stick reaches you, you are not required to speak. You can merely pass it on to the person next to you. You can in fact remain mute the entire circle. What you do have to do, however, is listen very attentively, the whole time, to each person who speaks, with all of your attention.
You are welcome to say what happened and how it felt then when they did what they did and how it feels now as you remember the action or the incident.
Anybody who has been impacted by what has happened in the past can be in attendance. Anybody attending must be approved by everybody in the circle. There may not be a person attending whom one or more people in the circle disagree should be there.
Let’s talk on the phone or via email about this process or with printed flyers and help everybody in the association to trust the process and trust our peacemaking intentions and agree they want to be part of it.
Everybody in the building should know ASAP about what’s in the works. With no unnecessary delay.