Welcome, everyone, we still have people joining. Our topic for today is how might listening and empathy circles support your work and conflict transformation, peacebuilding, mediation, and bridging divides. I will announce that when you go into groups, you have to remember that I'm Kathy Kidd, I'm with the Center for building a culture of empathy, empathy and the peace Alliance. We are recording the call, if you put an R next to your name, if you don't mind being recorded an X if you don't want to be recorded, we'll know how to sort you out into rooms. And so And anybody who's an empathy circle facilitator, put an ECF after your name if we need and we need you to facilitate global know you're available. So we are going to record a couple of the breakout rooms for educational purposes. And the intention for the empathy cafe. This monthly empathy Cafe cafe that we're doing to bring the peacebuilding community together is to bridge these communities all get to know each other, support each other, maybe combine our efforts, the work we're doing is just a chance for us to build community. Share ideas, build skills. So we're glad you're here. And Bill is going to introduce our CO hosts.
And I'm going to share the screen here and here we go. You you're muted bill if you're there.
Okay, see, I can't see the script. Hold on. All right, there we go. Okay. So we can see Center building a culture of empathy, conflict transformation, peace building and security peace Alliance, listen first, and the National Coalition for dialogue and deliberation, and C, D, D. So a little bit about those. Peace, conflict transformation. Sorry, conflict transformation, peace building and security. Kobe, say, is leading network on peacebuilding and conflict transformation, counting more than 60,000 members share and retrieve the newest info on peacebuilding and conflict transformation. So all these are groups that you're easier to know about, or you can connect with as we try to ally with each other, the center of building a culture of empathy where Kathy, and I kind of affiliate, the internet, internet's largest resource on the value of empathy offers empathy, circles, empathy, training, and much more. The peace Alliance, which will educate, advocate and mobilize people into action, to transform systems and public policy, towards a culture of peace, that's Kathy's baileywick. The listen first project, their network of 500 or more bridging organizations leads to the collaborative movement to heal America by bridging divides. And the National Coalition for dialogue and deliberation, a network of innovators who bring people together, across divides to discuss the side and take action together effectively on today's toughest issue. And then also, we are open for more CO hosting organizations. So if you see this and you'd like to be involved, we'd love to have you here. All right.
Yeah, and I put the info the links in the chat, too, you can see that they're great,
thank you. So we're going to show a six minute video on how to participate in the empathy circles for those of you who are new or just have attended once before. And don't worry if you don't catch everything, because we'll have facilitators in each circle, who will guide you along the process. I'm just going to share a couple of things that might be helpful for you. Sometimes, people who are new to the empathy circle, have a desire to do what's comfortable for them, and it can be a struggle to follow the process. So we're asking you just to trust the process and the filled facilitators will help you do that. We have found this process to be the gateway best gateway to listening and empathy skills building, which of course are core to all the helping and mediation professions and processes. And there is a longer video it's a 25 minute video if you want to watch it afterwards to help you learn more about it. And but briefly staying in the process allows you to examine your listening skills, slow down your thoughts, be fully present trust that everyone can manage their needs within the circle by adhering to the values of mutuality and equality. As with any discomfort you may feel about Learning something new, trust me, you will, you will enjoy it after a while I was new to it, it was very uncomfortable for me. And after a while I loved it. So trust us.
We had Edwin, okay. And I just mentioned that when you first do the process, it can be that you feel maybe the first timer to fill a bit of anxiety and it just you'll get really comfortable with it quite quickly. So here's the six minute video This will just give a introduction to the process what I'm going to stop that share because I forgot to hit this audio button. And the and there's also in the chat is a link to a PDF that also explains this you can have sort of a cheat sheet to use that. So here we go. I'm Edwin Rutsch, founding director of the Center for building a culture of empathy. I like to welcome you to this short presentation on how to take part in a basic empathy circle. So next, let's look at the step by step how to take part. And empathy start circle starts with two to seven participants. Here on the screen we have four participants, which I find is an ideal number. There are four basic roles and the roles rotate among the participants as the empathy circle unfolds. One the speaker is the first person to speak to is active listener who actively listens to the speaker. There's the silent listeners, they quietly observe and witness and the facilitator who organizes schedules and hosts the circle. They also do the timekeeping and they have some experience with the process and help key participants in the process. However, everyone has the responsibility to hold the process in the practice. So to begin with, the facilitator will start the empathy circle. They welcome the participants. They lead introductions if the participants don't know each other. The facilitator invites participants to give short introductions, for example, their name, where they're from and something personal about themselves. The facilitator then reviews the empathy circle process to remind everyone how it works. They announced the discussion topic if there is one, even if there is a topic, you can always talk about what is alive for you. That is what is on your mind in the moment. And five, you can they set the speaker time limits, perhaps five minutes, for example. And the facilitator then asks who would like to start to be the first speaker. So at that point, the participant volunteers to be the first speaker, as speaker, you select who you will, who will be your active listener, and you can select anyone that you want. You speak about the topic given or whatever is alive for you. And so you'll speak a bit until you have maybe expressed an idea or two. And then you want to pause to give the active listener a chance to recap what they understand that you're saying and feeling. If you say too much, the listener may have difficulty in reflecting it. As the active listener, you are listening to the speaker to get an understanding of what they're saying and what is important to them, you are giving them your full attention as a supportive companion on their inner journey and exploration. When the speaker pauses, you recap your understanding of what they said and how they feel by reflecting the essence of that in your own words. You can summarize paraphrase or even say the speaker's words back to them. Even though you may have a strong impulse to respond with your own ideas judgements, analysis, advice and sympathy or even questions, you know, resist the impulse to do so. Because these common responses block the speaker from moving along their internal journey, you will be able to say whatever you want when it is your turn to be the speaker. If you don't reflect the understanding to the speaker satisfaction you they can always say it again. Then as speaker you check, do you feel understood to your satisfaction? If you do not feel understood, you can say it again perhaps in different words. If you do feel understood, continue sharing. Again after speaking a bit pause to give your active listener a chance to recap their understanding of what you said. As the active listener, you again share your understanding of what the speaker said and meant. The cycle of speaking and reflecting continues until you as the speaker do not have anything else you'd like to say, or until you get a signal from the timekeeper. If you get a signal from the timekeeper, than finish up what you're saying in a sentence or two, after you get a final reflection, you can end your turn by saying something like I feel fully heard or something like that indicate you're done with your speaking turn. At that point, the roles then rotate, the active listener becomes the speaker, the person they select becomes the new active listener. For everyone. Having equal time, it is good to select someone that hasn't spoken lately, but it is your choice. The others in the circle become the silent listeners, this process of turn taking turns in speaking and active listening continues for whatever time was allotted for the empathy circle. And this was just a very short introduction, the best way to learn the practice is taking part and doing it there is more in depth material on taking part in an empathy circle and facilitating one at empathy. circle.com Thank you for listening. Already. For the I just mentioned that the empathy circle, I'm going to post the PDF again into the wait, internet wait room into the meeting room. And you can also click on that. And that will explain. So this is very participatory, we're going to be going into breakout rooms too. And you'll be able to participate in the process. So yeah, so go ahead, Kathy. Okay,
so we're gonna move into breakout rooms, you'll have four people per breakout room, Edwin are five
to be more like six few sometimes people drop out right now. Yeah.
Great. And so we'll be in the breakout room for about an hour. And let's see 1215 to 115 for about an hour and a half. And then we'll come back into the large circle, just to debrief what the experience was like for you. And we will post the topic in the chat. But in every circle, you can talk about the topic or whatever is alive in you. Sometimes there'll be a conversation, there'll be going, you know, a topic, there'll be going but if you want to talk about something different, you don't have to stay on that topic. It's always whatever you want to talk. So
okay, and so we'll be going into the breakout rooms, you'll see the person that has ECF after their name, they'll be the facilitator, there may be one or two facilitators in the group. So you just decide who will be keeping time. And the description, the question is in the chat. And so here we go into the breakout rooms and I'll send about a 10 minute heads up before we come back into the full group to debrief. So here we go.
Want to since nobody's here. All right. Great. All right. Welcome, everyone. So why don't we go around and just do short introduction, your name, where you are, what organization you might be affiliated with, and, and a little bit maybe about, you know, the work you're doing. So I'll just go around my screen. So, Heidi.
Hi, I'm Hardy Marling house. I'm coming out of Bend Oregon. And I work with school. So I used to be a teacher and I left the classroom because of a lot of the dysfunction and issues that were happening within the system. And I didn't feel like I was part of the solution. I felt like I was part of the problem and I remained as a teacher. And so today I support schools in working on their systems and having more so feel emotional learning skills with the adults that are embedded into the DNA of the school system. So that the way we interact and the way we behave with each other is more through empathy and compassion, and open mindedness and curiosity. And then we can progress from there.
Great, tough road to hoe. I'm also retired teacher, so I feel for you. Now I love, love
the love the Yes, love, everywhere. Okay. Hi, everyone. My name is Leticia. I'm from India. I'm my company's name is advert lights. And I'm a mental health practitioner. So helping people having problems related to anxiety, stress, and constantly showing empathy to them how to work into their normal life, and come up with the mental health issues which they go into daily life taking it, okay, this is a very novel thing for me, this is a very small thing, ignoring it and still moving. So making this into a notice to the people that this is not a novel or a small thing that you need to ignore. It affects you, it has to come out. And it's okay. So my main motto is It's okay. To not be okay. So yeah, that's a
great, great motto. Thank you, Amy.
Hello, everyone, Amy Wilson, here i i am the the founder and CEO of empathy for change how to create a and I wrote a book actually called empathy for change how to create a more understanding world about two years ago, I've worked with Edwin and I'm also a trained empathy circles facilitator, but I thought I'd be a participant today with the conversation. And, and so what I do is I've, I live in Washington, DC. So that's at the intersection of many different collaborators, nonprofits, federal government, I used to work for the White House as an entrepreneur in residence. And so what I get to do is to kind of look at intersections between all these collaborators, but also intersectionality, between things like technology and policy, and all the different things that make up a organization or even a system. And how do we make it more empathetic? Because that's what I do at the end of the day trying to create more compassionate systems. So that's what I've been making my life around and I try to support on the individual all the way through to the system's level. So excited to be here with you today and to be in community with you all.
Great, great to have you here. Oh, and Amy, you don't you're okay with being recorded? Yes. Okay, great. And Jody.
Hi, I'm Jodi Erickson. I do conflict resolution mediation for public policy and environmental issues. I am baking bbka. So I will I will mute myself only and I am very chatty. So I promise I will unmute and be be part of and when it's my moment to listen, I'll full stop. But I have bike sisters coming in town next week. So and I have a three day meeting next week. So it's like now we're never though I do a lot of transportation mediations. I actually did some pandemic influenza work in 2000 567. I do natural resource work. I do lots of strategic planning. And some organizational development work, which is both where empathy is important. But everyone's like, I'm an adult, and I'm a professional and I don't have to do that. And so I pushed them to be more human. I call it because empathy. They're like, that's touchy feely. So I have to think of different framing so they don't feel like I'm doing therapy, which is exactly what you do with organizational team building problems. So it was that it?
Yeah, sure. That's great. Thank you. Get some emergency Bob. Get out there. There. Hey. Okay, Celine.
Hi. Well, I live in the United States on the west coast in Southern Oregon, Ashland. We're getting a little another little bits of snow. And I'm a retired educator, and mediator. I mean, not fully retired mediator. I still do some mediation. I am part of the nonviolent communication community and of the empathy circles community. And I'm excited to be here this morning.
Great to have good see you again. And My name is Bill filler. I'm a retired special education teacher, I worked for decades as a special education teacher with extreme hospitals for suicidal adolescents and things like that more on the extreme level. And so in my job, what I learned what we tried to do, because kids had failed three or four times and things like that, and they were already, you know, very defensive, is we tried to make them feel heard, essentially, that was job simplified. And so when we did, what we found is that the violence, lead gen, these kids were a lot more than extreme went down because they could get their needs met by talking, which is much easier than throwing a chair. You can try it for yourself, if you wish. Could you please pass the salt? No. All right. So at any rate, we're here. Just to give you a little perspective, I know some of you are very familiar with the empathy circle. But this is a basic, you know, kind of opening step. So it does not supplant anything else that therapists or anything any other people might be doing. But it is a way to establish what we called in the business therapeutic report. And sort of a trusting way. I will put the there's the topic How might listening and empathy circles support your work and conflict transformation, peacebuilding, mediation, and bridging divides. Some of you have not experienced empathy circles. So that might be very hard question to an answer. You know, as you experience it, but you can always go off topic, and you know, can talk about your work and things like that. And then, you know, I invite you to just kind of notice what happens, what I found is that this is a very efficient and quick way to establish that therapeutic report. Okay. But we'll see what else happens, we'll have four minute turns, I have a little timer here, or there it is, you'll hear like a little sound. If you don't hear it, I have this very expensive handcrafted sign here that just let you know, when you hear or see the sign, it does not mean that you have to cut yourself off in mid sentence, finish your thought, we'll get you a last reflection and then we'll kind of move on. As a speaker, it's good to try to remember to pause fairly frequently. So that the listener can you know, remember everything you've said, essentially, if I make any corrections or anything like that, it's not a criticism of you or your ideas. But it's just to keep us in the process. That's really my job not to do anything else. So we can get started. There any questions? First of all, anything that was left? Unclear now seems okay. All right. I assume Okay, Jody, that Bob can making is continuing a pace.
I pause because before I I'm gonna have to focus for a few minutes in the middle. So
that's fine, God, whatever you need to do. By the way, if you need to take a break, or if you need a bio break, if you need to get some water or something like that, that's all fine. This is not a endurance test or anything. Okay. So I'll be the first listener. The trick here is to reflect not respond. We're conditioned to respond. And so that's so sort of the tricky part. I will try to role model reflecting. I'm not above breaking the rules from time to time. Either through incompetence or just outright rebellious SNESs. But you will stay in in the in the structure. Thanks. So who would like to be the first speaker?
I'll be happy to go. I'll do
it. This is a good time for
you. You do it. You need it? Yeah. Okay.
I find in public policy mediations, there's a little less empathy moments because they're very professional. This language doesn't work perfectly, but they're very Be professional. And so empathy usually comes from me, I make phone calls between mediation meetings. And when I say mediation, it's like 30 people. And I call them all and usually the empathy moments are with me and them one on one. Rather than full stopping in the room, there, there are some mediations, I have not done them that are much more emotional based. And so you intentionally start there. But most of my mediation work is the empathy has actually done one on one. And that's what I do, between meetings with one on one phone calls is empathize with where they are, and also then coach them on sort of how to see two truths at the same time. With the organizational development work I do, which is teams not getting along. There's more empathy moments, but like I said earlier, they I'm an I'm an adult, is now my worst for I hate that phrase. Because you're human. And just because you're human at 60 versus a human at three doesn't mean you don't throw a tantrum at 60, you just don't literally lay down on the ground, but the but it's borderline the same. So with organizational team, building bad team things, empathy is what they need. And if they reflect refuse, we're professionals. We're adults, we don't need that. Which is unfortunate, because human beings need that.
Okay, can I reflect what you said so far? Yeah. And I'm
actually done. That was my those were points. Okay.
So you talked about two types of mediation, you do. One was called, like, more process, what is team building, and the other one was public policy. And so in both, you try to bring in empathy in the public policy, it can't be done, it's much more of a formal setting is what I get. And that people are following strict Robert's Rules of orders or whatever. And so you do your empathy by contacting them and speaking to them one on one. And that's where you can start to work in the empathy. In the team building, empathy is a lot more front and center. In other words, that's what people need to do in order because you're called in when there's a split in the team, or there's a problem. So therefore, you need to have empathy. And so you it's much more brought to the group as a whole, and you talk about it a bit more. And you're also dealing with, I guess, stereotypes sort of self images of like, I'm an adult, or, you know, I'm this, and what you really kind of realized the truth for you, is that you could be 60 or three and still throw a tantrum, it's just that, you know, at 60 If you throw yourself on the floor, you might not get up again. And so, you know, so you're dealing with those two types of things.
Yeah, I will say the sort of public policy, it's, it's not structured, I don't do Robert's Rules of Order that stuff like drives me crazy, but it's much more substance based. And so I try to focus them more on substance in the meetings, and yeah, and the organization, stuff. They hate each other. So they need empathy, but they were, like, refuse it. So yeah,
right. So you want to emphasize that you don't do Robert's Rules of Order. Because you hate and, but in the public policy, again, it's much more structured. And then the other issue, the issue is divisiveness. So therefore, empathy is also brought forward. They miss anything. Okay, great. All right. Great, I'll talk to Okay, and I want to get this right. So correct me I'll take my take me low, but loc D, love D, the emphasis on the last syllable. I'm trying to get that. Thank you. So, and I speak one language, so I'm not very proud. And sometimes not that well. So I keep on trying. Okay, so I that I've, we've gotten a lot of the things that Jodi talked about a lot of preconceptions about empathy. That this is soft, it's so bad. feelings and things like that. And so I'll stop there.
Okay, so what I have observed that, yes, feelings are very much involved, when you tend to show empathy, especially something that you have gone through in your past, and something that has bought you. So, I have seen many people coming across, they show empathy to everybody, but somebody who has hurt them, they will not show an empathy to them. Empathy is required by everybody. And sometimes it is very normal human basic nature that we don't tend to show empathy also show less empathy to people who have hurt us. Okay,
I'm just gonna give you a small correction here, because you're kind of responding, which is fine. But just reflect what I say. And then when it's your turn to speak, that's where you'd put what you just said. Okay, so it's a little bit different. And I just for people who are in mediation, if you notice, and you've dealt with conflict, kind of you there's an escalation continuum, it's like you are you're not, you know, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah, here is something you are, oh, I am, you know, there's a reflection. So that's, that's the kind of thing that we're not we're not used to, I liken it to like, when I Miss Wright, the date on the check. I know, I'm all after the first of the year. I mean, I know it's the new year. But force of habit does that. So I'll continue. And so it but I have gotten, we have gotten a lot of these things that that empathy is considered, quote unquote, feminine. It's considered soft, it's not considered hard science. And I think that nothing else is further than the truth.
So can you reflect that?
Okay, reflecting onto that. You mean to say that, people find it empathy is very like you when you say that empathy is very easy, like accepting, although, but things are, rather than correctly, please correct me if I'm not sure.
No, absolutely. Yeah, that's a It's not about perfection here. It's about building communication. And, yeah, so what I'm saying is that, in the empathy circle, I've been working with Edwin for about five years, we get a lot of these preconceived notions about empathy, rather than people who are just willing to experience it.
Absolutely. Many times people think it's a very difficult job to do empathy, they need to learn something about empathy to this empathy circle. And then maybe they will understand and know how to do it. Right.
Yeah, that's fine. And I feel fully heard. And now it's your turn to speak. So pick a listener, and then it's your turn to talk.
who would like to go for it?
Okay, just pick anybody.
I am very bad at picking anybody.
Okay, well, I know that Celine has done this for a while. Would it be okay, Celine? If you were listening?
Yes. I'm happy to be a listener and I will I request that you say a little bit at a time because I have an old brain can only handle a little bit. Sad, okay. Yeah.
Okay, I completely understand the thing. The thing is, what I mean to say is empathy. Nowadays, empathy are seen into younger generation a lot. They are very quite familiar with this word. They are aware with this word, empathy, a lot.
Okay, they may reflect that back, make sure I got it, right. So what you're saying is that you are seeing in younger people, a lot of interest and practice of empathy. And that not everybody knows this, that young people are so interested in empathy.
Uh, yes. I mean, it's absolutely. And I also need to say, but a disadvantage of that is that many people usually very loosely use useless term empathy. They don't understand the difference between sympathy and empathy. So that's, that's the major thing. Sometimes people even haven't drawn understanding, okay, is this person sympathizing or empathizing with me?
Okay, so the problem with this is that you're seeing that not everybody has, understanding the way you do or what empathy is. And for example, they will confuse sympathy with empathy.
Absolutely, that's what I mean to say that they use it very interchangeably those two words. And using those two words becomes difficult to have some trust and confined into the people around them. So yeah, that is also something that have been seen in many people. So people may portray some of those problems, and gain some sympathy, rather than people who actually need that empathy.
And so, because there's confusion about what sympathy and empathy are, and people use them interchangeably, sometimes people who really need empathy and that kind of understanding instead, or receiving sympathy and are probably frustrated and disappointed.
Absolutely. I feel completely hurt. Thank you.
Okay. Heidi, would you listen to me?
I'd be happy to.
So I think in terms of how might listening and empathy support the work, I see it as step one, in just about any collaboration is, if there isn't an understanding that we are going to listen to each other in a neutral and neutral way. It's going to be hard to work together.
But what I heard you say is that listening and empathy are foundational to having conversations with one another, and being able to hear each other with an open mind and not having preconceived notions.
Yes. And I've been volunteering with an organization that advocates for people in terms of getting their utilities, heating and electric, and gas. And we actually, each person who asks for help becomes a member of the organization. And then we call the utility companies, a government agency on their behalf.
So you're working to support people in the community who are having difficulties with their utilities, and you are a go between, from them to the companies who provide those services.
Yes. And so the word advocacy is used a lot. And but I haven't heard anything about listening, or empathy, even though of course, that's part of it, but it's not overtly acknowledged.
So advocacy is a big part of the work that you do. But listening isn't something that's at the forefront of people's mind, even though you believe that listening is a huge part of advocacy.
Yes, and I haven't brought this up yet. And I'm, I'm planning I'm plotting, whether I'm going to offer listening circles or whatever, to the community to the community, maybe as a fundraiser. You know, I like I said, I'm plotting and planning to see how to open it up to include the kind of listening and empathy that I think is good, just good to be aware of whether we're doing it or not doing it.
So you're thinking of ways that you can use skills you have with empathy circles and listening and how you might be able to bring it to this organization that you're supporting it You have not yet done that, but you're thinking about it.
That's right. And of course, you know, calling some of these government agencies is is a very interesting experience of hearing kind of some empathy language that is not supported by policies or actions.
So you're hearing the empathy language being used. But you're seeing a disconnect between what's being said, and the policies that are in place to actually make it happen.
Yes. So that's my moment in empathy for right now and thank you for listening to me I feel fully heard Heidi
you muted Heidi. Oh, she you're talking to somebody
else? Sorry, my, my teenager just got up and now cereal is being poured in. It's really crackly. Hi. Um, well, thank you. First of all, I really appreciate your listener, go
pick your listener first. Yeah,
I have to pick my listener. And, Amy, would you be willing to be my listener? Oh, yep. Okay, so I appreciate all the conversations that I've heard thus far. It really is resonating with me on so many levels.
Okay, you you expressed Heidi, your gratitude towards the folks in the room who have shared thus far. And, and you've gotten a lot out of that so far.
So I believe that empathy has a lot to do with perspective taking. And that what I see a lack of, in today's world, the work I do with schools, has already been discussed in all of this policy type situation that we've been hearing from today.
So what I'm saying is that you are seeing a lack of taking someone else's perspective in the work that you do. And a lot of perspectives have already been kind of set in based on the policies and the work that has already been formed before you even gave me gets cheap.
Yeah, so I see, I've seen many different applications of these empathy circles in the school system. The biggest one that people are seeing right now is with family community engagement, where they're this there's this new concept of, let's bring in everyone's voice, which is a great concept, empathy as needed for that. But there's no policy or system in place to do anything with it, because we're locked in to the old way of doing things.
Mm hmm. Okay.
So what I'm hearing is that you are one of the things there's many different ways that empathy circles or, or that just empathy period could could play in the school system. You're kind of locked by a lot of the way the structure that's already there. But one way that works for you, that you've seen work is empathy in a family dynamic. Is that Is that right? Or like the student a family dynamic?
Yeah, so family community engagement is where the schools interact more with the community at large, and to try to co create new policies and things like that together.
Okay, so what I'm hearing is that family and community, you know, the school and the community kind of come together and CO create what that future might be.
Yeah, and in that there's a lot of division. You know, they're coming together to co create, but there's closed mindedness, there's not the perspective taking, there's lack of empathy. And then the old systems are in place. So it, the division just stays there. And tensions rise. And it becomes more traumatic. Hmm.
Okay. So what you're saying is that the already pre established system that you're in, has kind of defined what these roles are going to be and what and what should be and it kind of builds upon each other and creates, you know, people are kind of stuck in their ideas and so they're not, they're not listening and hearing what the other person is saying. thing. So that actually, instead of leaning in and kind of putting your work their their ideas aside, it just escalates. And people are kind of like almost there's a fight that happens and more trauma, some trauma that happens in the engagement there.
Yes, and particularly in the bipoc community, which is black, Indian and people of color. This is also true in the LGBTQ community as well. So, you know, when you bring these I want to say minorities of minorities in with a larger group of let's say, you know, white people that are living in this part of the United States. They're not hearing each other, they're not taking each other's perspective, when they share out.
Yeah, so you identify there's two groups, the bipoc community and also the LGBTQ i A plus community that that really aren't heard. And it it creates a more of a bigger divide, and creates more harm for those individuals because they they specifically are hurt in your work.
Yes, thank you, Amy. I feel like I was hurt.
All right. All right. Hey, Judy, are you have you your your Bob coulda done?
is rising. It's first rising is happening right now. There's three things I know. But
oh, yeah. That's fine. Okay, I'd love for you to listen. For me. Um, okay. Um, so I, I apply listening and empathy circles in many things that I do. I lead many trainings. Training I just led about a month ago, was called storytelling for belonging at work. And, and that was really using storytelling and your story. And a component was that bringing the impact of that idea of story and empathy as, as a co creation device for us to figure out in a bigger way? How might we create belonging at work?
So you one of the things that you do is trainings, and specifically a storytelling for belonging at work, which brings empathy in because it links empathy and storytelling in order to co create a better work environment. Better Work Environment, I forgot what
Yeah, I mean, what I find is that empathy starts with the individual. Mmm hmm. And when I'm in that class, like this was a very introductory course that I took, it was actually only an hour long. But the we had two breakouts. One of the breakouts was, you know, telling a story of when you either got in or out of trouble. So you can kind of see the humaneness of the people who are attending. And then the other side of the spectrum, when I talked about empathy, I did a session around listening. It wasn't exactly an empathy circle, but it was it was like a very modified version of it.
So even in very if this training is even very short, you can create opportunities to show that empathy starts with individuals, starting with them telling a story about how they get in and out of trouble, which then humanizes us to ourselves and to others. I admit I added the ourselves but and empathy is also about listening. And so the telling of the story out makes us human, but also the listening reflects the humaneness. Mm hmm.
And yes, and something I heard in a previous share was around around taking somebody else's perspective. And what I think about the the one thing I hone hone in on with this training is cognitive empathy, which is, has two components to it. On one side, it's taking somebody else's perspective, but it's also staying out of judgment is the other side of that. And so, what is often, you know, often when we're engaging with each other, it's cognitive empathy that blocks us. And so, I have a lot of activities, that kind of listening is one of them, but you also have to, like, add curiosity, to our conversation and to the work that you do, because if you don't have curiosity, So you're gonna start judging people.
So empathy starts with individuals, both in the sharing but also the listening in a sense that cognitive empathy, which is taking other people's perspectives, but also staying out of judgment that can stop us from being empathetic from hearing the humaneness of others. And two tips. The big tip for doing that is a listening and be being curious about what you heard.
Yes, thank you, I feel fully heard.
Can I say something? Sure. So would I do conflict resolution trainings, I give them three tips. And the first one is curiosity. Every time instead of debating instead of responding as a mean by that, that's great. But that's part of empathy, without actually calling it empathy. When people get touchy feely.
It's actually a core tenet of Buddhist beliefs, right? Like loving kindness? Is, is really curiosity, right? Like staying kind to yourself, that's a way for you to like, have curiosity for yourself, but also curiosity for others.
So it's your turn to speak German, and pick it up? I
do I pick a different listener, or
we just do. It's, you know, we try to get everybody involved. And then you know, go and speak and talk to different people. But it's the math is, you know, not always perfect. So you would ever right?
I'm gonna delegate the Peak Picking of a speaker to Bill.
But you're the speaker,
I mean, the listener to Bill delegate the selection of the speaker, the listener to bill.
Okay. All right. How about Heidi.
I am struggling with how this system is not as fluid, a system, which, if it's a two party, or maybe three, I can see that I'm
being good. I'm, I can't imagine trying to do this. In a group of 30, although it happens a little bit naturally, although I sometimes am the one that actually reflects back if somebody talked way too long, made way too many points, which is what I'm doing right now. Way too many way too many points. I say Okay, before I let Amy in. Jody, what you seem to be saying is this, this and this? And they say yes. And then we move and then I and then I'm like, okay, Amy jumpin. So I, I do this in large groups, if, if I think that point got lost by the speaker, but otherwise, I'm having a hard time seeing this in a group of 30 people.
So I heard you say that you find this process to be challenging in large groups, but maybe in small clusters of two to three people, you can see where it's very fluid at that point, to use your word. And even though you see it to be a challenge, you've noticed that yourself when you're in these large groups of 30 people, as a facilitator, you will stop, you will pause, a discussion to reflect back to make sure that everything is being heard. So you yourself, have the ability to do that, but you're not sure how else to do that with the large group.
Yeah, it's not that I don't know how I from a time perspective, when you're dealing with public policy and 30 people to get an all day meeting is hard enough. And you know, triangle satisfaction for at a CDR there's, you know, the triangle satisfaction I'm looking at heads no, okay. Both conflict are there's a substantive side. There's a process side, like where does my input matter? how are decisions made? And then there's a psychological side which is like do I feel respected? And that's really where empathy kicks in. More so then process or substance. If my process needs aren't met, and my psychological or relationship needs aren't met, I will fight you on substance even though I might be okay with the answer. So when you do an all day meeting, you this takes too long for On this substance, and so I, I, it's hard to it's hard to do not to mention the fact that people are like, we're done. We don't have to be
like that. So I heard you say that time is a factor. And it's challenging to get a whole day meeting with groups of people this large. And then there's this triangle, which I didn't quite get the name of the triangle
triangle of satisfaction, which is both neutral and really kind of racy.
triangle triangle of satisfaction, which had a process.
Process, we fight about substance, and we fight about relationships. So yeah. And it's,
so there was a process, there was substance and then there was a psychological side. Yeah, relations, which was the relationships. And if the person didn't feel like they were truly heard and empathized with, then they would argue, even though the answer they got with answer, they want it because they have this need to be heard. And then I also heard you say that that's all in addition to last, or the softness of empathy, as it being perceived that way.
Does that are four minute mark? Yes, it is.
Did I get it? Jody? Yes.
Okay, Heidi, it's your turn to speak again, because
I get to speak again. Okay. And I was like, I thought I said what I said. Um, so I have to pick a listener? Yeah. Okay. Ah, love D. Did I say your name correctly? Yes, yes. Okay. Would you be my listener?
Yes, definitely would love to. Okay.
So I want to kind of shift from what I said before, I had mentioned, there's many places that we could use empathy circles in the school system. And so I'd like to talk about some of the other places.
So you're trying to say what you do only what you focus on, because example, Odeon schools, but are to some other places as well.
Other places in the school system.
Okay. Other places in the school system. Okay.
Yeah. So in other places in the school system that I can see empathy circles being used is with school administration and staff, in particular, to work on decision making within one particular school building.
Okay, so you mean to me to say that in a school, not only with kids, but with teachers, staff, and other people as well should be this Emily Soto should be involved, while taking the decisions, it was just one single building where everybody's working together.
Yeah, and in doing this in, let's say, a staff meeting, the administrator would no longer be like a top down model where they're telling all the teachers what to do. But instead, teachers are able to use their professional skills and knowledge that they've been trained and experienced in to co create, along with the administrator, and now they're all building something together.
You mean to say that, rather than just one person reading on to everything, everybody can give their own opinions with their own expertise, and build a great, great unit together? Right? So are you trying to,
and then when that's done in in that manner, where they're co creating, the staff, the teachers now have buy in, they want to do whatever they've created together. So they have buy in, and they also have motivation to do that work. They have a deep understanding of that work, because they were part of creating it.
So you mean to say as they were involved from the start, they were, they were part of the idea, they'll take more off, they'll be more enthusiastic. And they'll be more willing to do the work rather than just giving the orders to done this x y Zed exercise, right?
And then the end result is increased morale with staff, increased connection because now they've built this together and it's literally connecting them and their productivity will go up. as a as a team and as an individual teacher,
see you mean you so you add together they can grow and much better way. And it will as well help them to grow individually, and the results will be much better. And they will also be feeling happy and bored. And they will be more giving though, there'll be more into giving, rather than just doing rather than just going in one flow.
And as human beings, we tend to, when we when we experience things, we tend to integrate it into our own lives. So then our teachers would be bringing more of that process into their classrooms, and being less top down with their students and more collaborative with their students where now they're co creating with students.
Okay, so, if we are human, you say if this processes start with the staff members and the people around, then the same thing can be implied in the classrooms with teachers and students, where they can work as one unit, rather than a leader and the followers.
Everybody can learn from there the same results happen the students have more morale, they feel more connected, they're more engaged. And now we have a much healthier school system and culture.
So you mean you say that there will be more students will be more happy. They will be motivated, enthusiastic and connecting with the people even with the teachers because they there they feel heard and we are asked for the ideas but do you have ever trying to get
Thank you. I feel heard lefty
Okay, now you're the speaker and you can pick a listen.
Okay, I have to become a smoking. me build up my listener Okay.
Yep, I just need to unmute myself. Yes.
Okay. So, like I said earlier about younger generations, having been confused between empathy and sympathy. I would like to just say a little bit more on the scene as well. Like, yes. Like the other speakers as well said, empathy is something that is very much needed. But from the back process, from if you see, from some of the people, which was manning practiced earlier, it becomes difficult to bring that change and understanding to the younger generation. That's where sometimes I see conflict arising.
Yeah. So what I understand from what you're saying is, is that younger generations don't have this have yet the skills of empathy. And they just, you know, there's assumption that sympathy rather than empathy, don't understand the everything. And so, there, there's conflict, because they don't yet know what what that is and how to practice it.
And even the older generation, when they know how to practice and very and do it, but they know how to do empathy on their own, but they don't know how to practice it with the people around how they need to give it because what I have seen in many empathy is not very clearly practiced and openly practiced, it is expected from certain people. Why is so not really great idea. So yeah, that also creates lots of conflicts. So to avoid that, working with having having an understanding that everybody requires an interest, empathy, whoever the person is, is more important.
Okay, so what I understand is that empathy is something that a lot of people expect people to have for them. But yet they I'm trying to remember correctly, that but but those folks might not be giving empathy back as well. So it creates further deeper conflict.
And even some stereotypical stigmas. I like to bring it to the notice that those textbooks also sometimes don't tend to allow people to show the empathy. Like for many times, it is very difficult to break that stigma and normal people As they have seen the parents while growing, and as they have been seen people that are some of them doing something, which is not that they have seen people doing, it's difficult to do, but yet they do it. And it's a great achievement that I have.
Yeah, so because there's a stigma around empathy, a lot of people choose not to, to practice it. And but but then you have seen distinct change that happens when people apply empathy and use empathy, that huge things can change, this can happen and shifts in conversation kidnapper, too.
So this is not something empathy. What Rudy, I have realized all this while empathy is not something related to gender. People generally make it to expect more empathy from a weapon than from them. Why? But because it is really not that much of an understanding, even when needed empathy, and they can give as well good amount of empathy. But sometimes women feel too good. That's okay. There has to be it is not distinguished by gender. That is also what.
Yeah, so a lot of people make assumptions that empathy is as gender there is specific to a specific gender, and a very female kind of thing. And a lot of people expect that of women. But there are plenty of women, there are a lot of women and men who do not experience empathy or give empathy and so that there's I guess, a further stigma that's happening there. Yeah, absolutely.
great. Selena or Celine? Would you? Listen
for me? Sure. Apple to
remember what you said earlier?
Yeah. Old brain swatch.
I remember used to listen, and I do you did you and I did the empathy training together? Yes. You remember? I don't
know. Yes. And your book? I remember. Yeah.
I haven't engaged a lot.
I, one of the things that I think about when it comes to listening and empathy circles is awareness pops up, and the lack of awareness. So I'll pause there.
So in thinking about empathy, circles and listening, something that comes up for you is awareness and where there is and where there, it's lacking.
Yeah, and I look at awareness on on two different levels. On an individual level, my own awareness, those are three levels, there's multiple levels, but the first one is like, awareness of my thoughts and what I'm thinking. The second level is awareness of how I interact with someone else, or other people. And then the third one is awareness of the system that's around us, that allows us to that, that affects us more than we realize.
So you're talking about your experience, I guess, within the listening situation, and your awareness, awareness of yourself your thoughts, where you're thinking, awareness of how you're interacting, but also awareness of the system that's larger than you and the other individuals. And that has a distinct influence on how it's going. Okay.
Um, and one of the things that I recently experienced is I went to a somatic retreat, somatic healing retreat, hoping and somatic means the body so Amma means the body in Greek. And it's essentially many of us stay in our heads and do not are not attached to the body and what we're thinking or emotions or our feeling, we're thinking more than we're feeling and that's that was one of the experiences I had recently. And it turned into a pretty big disaster because of the system around us.
So you're thinking of a retreat that you went to recently a somatic healing retreat. And where there's a distinct distinguish the difference between the head and thinking, and the body and feeling. In this case, all of that was okay, but the system that was maybe holding it or creating at all, that was not working. Hmm.
I won't even go further. One of the things that is in somatics, is sites of shaping is what it calls its concentric circles, and we're shaped by our world around us, the our families, our, our, our values are shaped by this too, by society, by the spiritual realm. And, and we all have these conditioned tendencies that are affected by all of these different sites of shaping. And, and that that is very, like very big in my mind right now, as we as we talk about the bigger implications for listening and empathy circles.
So you're, you're talking about about the shaping of our mind or approach or consciousness from families from the World Society, the spiritual realms, are values and are so that create our condition tendencies that I perhaps condition how we listen. And Express I'm not sure I don't think you said that part.
Yeah, condition and react over respond. So that's what I didn't exactly say those words. But that's how close and thank you, Celine, I feel heard.
Thank you, Amy. Okay, Bill, I'll talk to you. Listen. Sure. So, over the I participated very regularly in the empathy circles for close to three years. I'll pause there. Oh, sure.
So you've been involved with empathy circle for close to three years?
Yeah. And for me, I think a salient feature of my experience was the development of a capacity, greater capacity to, to listen and to hear things that I don't enjoy. I don't agree with. I really don't want to hear. But still, I can mostly stay present.
Yeah, so one of the learnings, I guess, areas of growth for you, in participating in these empathy circles, is being able to tolerate but also be present, for listening to ideas and things like that, that you don't agree with.
Yes, I think this is a huge, wonderful skill and liberation in and of itself, aside from any empathic feelings, if I can stay neutral, and just hear somebody out. I think I'm fantastic. And I don't think it's that common to be able to do that.
Yeah, so you're talking about just this one aspect of being able to stay present. And with, you know, ideas that you may not agree with, is a fantastic area of growth. Very rewarding.
Yeah. Yeah. And it's something I recommend to everybody. It's like, I kept bragging, I can listen to anything or anybody now.
Right? So you think it's really fantastic. And you were an above bragging about that?
Until, until I was in a situation with a friend of 50 years, who is now 96 and I go to keep him company. And the things he says and talks about driving me crazy.
So you're feeling very self satisfied until you experience with a friend of 50 years who's like 96 Now And then the you keep them company, but the things he talks about drive you right up the wall?
Yes. So in that situation, I developed a different strategies when I go, I take with me maybe two topics of possible conversation that I think he would engage in, and that I can tolerate hearing about.
So yeah, so you that's developed a new strategy where you think you could find two topics of conversation where there wouldn't be a lot of conflict, or he could tolerate and you could tolerate.
Yes. So that's part of my story and my journey with listening and empathy circles.
Right. And so that's part of your story about your experience with empathy circles, and employing it in your life.
Thank you, Bill. I feel fully heard.
Pleasure. Okay. Lobby.
You listen to me? Yes.
Okay. So, I wanted to respond to Jodi lit. There's no question that Jodi is an expert in her field and knows exactly what to do. And I wouldn't tell her try to tell her what to do in any particular moment. So I'll start
there. So you want to share something you, Judy, but you don't want to give her as an advice that what she needs to what is to be done and what isn't to be done.
Right. But however, I think that empathy circles, we are doing a an empathy circle with 40 Are people that's that was the big group. And that's the strategy. You're right, it would not, you couldn't have enough time to do an empathy circle with 40 people in one group, but you break them up into breakout groups. And that's the strategy.
So he mean, you want to suggest her by saying that not taking a 40 people or 20 people group together and an empathy circle, but into small, smaller, different groups like breakout groups.
Right, and everybody feels heard. And I understand also in a public policy setting or other settings, the agenda is paramount. But even in those areas, you have what's called icebreaker activities.
Okay, so in different settings, apart from empathy, circa different settings, you mean you say there are people might end up where people might not know each other so much. They every day, you have icebreaker activities where they get to know each other more? Is that what you're trying to say?
Right? And then God also remember, I mentioned that triangle. We're basically talking about, if I don't feel heard, and emotionally supported, I might fight you on content, because I'm reacting from an emotional place not a content place.
Yeah, you are just reflecting on the triangle of satisfaction, which you mentioned, their relation or emotions needs are not met. So we will try to meet meet those needs by fighting on the substance or the content or the ideas.
Yeah. And so again, I want to emphasize this is sort of like a basic practice that can be I put in the chat, this woman roses, zuba zeta and Bucha. I know I'm pronouncing your name wrong, so I apologize, Rosa, but I have great respect for her. And, and the work she does, and she does something called dynamic facilitation, where she'll do an intro empathy circle, do the facilitation. And then do a checkout empathy circle, you know, only about five or 10 minutes.
you mean you're just pointing out that Rosa is the name I guess you mentioned? Yes, she she does and dynamic felt station about the whole circle. Like really quickly she will do a connect connecting with the people talking with them and ended in 10 minutes.
Yeah, and so so in as I perceive it, again, I'm not the expert but as I proceed Jody situation, the empathy circle might be employed as an icebreaker activity to to lower the defensiveness then have a very productive meeting about content and then out One after to just basically debrief. And then I'm done. Thank you.
you just want to say, to further triangle of satisfaction, which he mentioned earlier, to lower the emotions and that we can have an icebreaker activity, and where everybody knows each other how they think or talk or something little bit about each other. And then talking about the substance of the content and other things, so that emotions don't get more involved in that and have a debrief about that later. And I
getting great. That's fantastic. Thank you so much. I feel failure. Your turn to speak?
My goodness. I need to pick a listener right? Yes. Okay. God, I'll pick you. Are you like printer? Okay.
Sorry, I Tasker I didn't realize I was still on mute. I'm totally a multitasker. So I appreciate that y'all are? Let me do that. And yes, I am ready to listen. Yeah.
So I would like to just mention about particular things, actually, you yourself mentioned a shedding the triangular satisfaction. Thank you for bringing it to the notice, because something really very new, which I did not know about. So it's a new learning family today. And thank you so much for such a great learning. Like, it was completely different than the ideas what are the others give other scalar idea, they were also a new learning for me as well. So yes, that is what we would like to mention the machines.
So you're thanking me and appreciating a new tool for you, that was very interesting and a great learning, you're welcome.
And I would like to continue on to the same part where I would like to just talk about empathy and sympathy again, where people use it very much interchangeably with each other, saying the word empathy and giving sympathy to the others are saying I need empathy and expecting sympathy from others. This is something which is very commonly noticed, because they don't know the difference. So sometimes getting them to understand the difference. And the Wingert it is also something very important, which I feel
that so getting participants to understand and know the difference between empathy and sympathy. So they can use either one or have the right expectation about what they're looking for, is helpful.
Many times people, you like, very initially, I started when I started with the compensation, I started with this. And empathy is something that we don't show it to the people who hurt us. Maybe they also need empathy. We don't show it maybe we don't give it to them. But it helps us to forgive them. And they also somewhere need that empathy, we cannot balance or empathy, okay, this person needs more empathy, or this person needs less empathy or something like that. Everybody needs empathy. That's what I it is difficult, yes, to give empathy to the people who have what is very important to give them also, maybe they are going to need
people who hurt us need empathy as well. And empathy is not a zero sum commodity that we dish out in small bits or large bits. It helps us particularly when working with people who hurt us to give them empathy that when we give empathy, we in fact Bart forgiving, which helps us as well.
I would like to mention forgiving us. We don't know yet we are forgiving them. Okay, so forgiving them and showing them that is two different things. Forgive forgiving ourselves is more important rather than forgiving because having basic human nature we tend to blame ourselves for some of the mistakes they have So we need to show empathy to Asif as to show that we need to have that forgiveness for us. And it's okay if we don't forgive the other person immediately we take our time, but we can show them empathy. We don't need to wish bad for the other person who has fought. So that is also something important, which I believe people do have more of an understanding for. Yeah.
We need to have empathy for ourselves, as much as for other people and empathy for ourselves can and should lead to forgiveness, but forgiveness of others isn't necessarily isn't necessary to have empathy for others. And that empathy and forgiveness for others are separate and you can have empathy for that forgiving, and let that forgiveness come later. But not for yourself. having empathy and forgiving yourself are seeing more hand in hand. Forgive yourself because it is human nature to blame ourselves.
I think I'm beat me. Thank you
am I supposed to speak? Yep. Yeah, it's your turn to speak. Pick. Listen,
I got nothing. Okay, you can pick one thing.
Okay. Sure. So who are you speaking to?
I will speak to Celine. Okay. Empathy is about humanizing. Nothing humanizes more than a pet in a zoomed view.
So you're saying empathy is humanizing. And the most humanizing thing you experience is having a pet in a Zoom Room.
Anything else? Yeah, and Amy's chiming in a child too.
Alright, I'll say this all the time. I do struggle. This feels less conversational. Like, by the time, you know, by the time you get round to what you want to say it feels a little
but mean, it's a good practice. That's all
Yeah. So something that doesn't work as well for you in this kind of process is that it's less conversational, you know, so it gets after a while it starts to feel maybe stilted or not quite as comfortable.
Not fluid. Alright, I'm out. Not out but
okay, do you feel complete? All right. Oh, I can't remember who I've talked to. Amy, would you listen to me please? Yes.
Well, I will say that in relationship, family relationship with my two sons, I have two adult sons. I have to do. sleuthing kind of empathy. So that there's no way that that occurs to them that mom is giving them empathy.
Saline, so what you're saying is, what you have to do with your two sons is to kind of do a sleuthing kind of empathy because you don't need to think that you're actually applying empathy.
Yes. And my younger son with whom I'm quite close, will be amazed sometimes how all I did was listen, and he got clear about things.
And one of your sons, like is amazed that you know, way by listening through listening, it's when he gets clear about things and he's like, how did that happen?
So I'm, I love when that happens, and he is in a new romantic relationship and I am so much wanting him to or them to, you know, learn these skills, but I would never say oh
so what you're saying, Celine is that is that you're keeping close lipped because you don't want to feel like you're telling your son and his family, his partner, how to kind of live their life.
As right, thank you, I feel fully heard. And I'll turn it over. Well, Bill will tell us what he wants for the last
10 minutes. Well, it would be Amy's turn to speak. Just say has anybody feel, you know, want to say something else, we have 10 minutes. So we have, you know, four minutes, somebody would like to, or if you'd like to, we could kind of debrief a little bit here. If you have any questions. We can, we can do that. So, first of all, the first question is, does anybody have more they want to say, okay,
I can I can go ahead and absolutely, Hey, Bill, would you be my listener, I'd be happy to. Okay. Um, one of the things that I that, like sparked me with some with this idea of empathy is something that has has been transformative in my life, around listening in my personal interpersonal relationships, is really listening and feeling like I'm seen and heard. And one place that that that has happened, is in this support group that I'm that is called adult children of alcoholics, and dysfunctional families. So that's a group that I come to regularly.
So you want to talk about where, you know that feeling of empathy when you really feel heard. And there's a group that you are a part of called adult children of alcoholics. And that is a place where you really feel heard and seen,
huh, yeah. And so in those groups, this predates like kind of empathy circles, right? Because it's been around for a while. But that's really where I first felt the the feeling of like stepping out of isolation, which I often did, because I come from dysfunctional and alcoholic family. And I allowed to start sharing, and, and people are actually listening and not trying to just respond and talk back at me. And that was, that's been transformative.
Yeah, so this was really profound experience for you. Because there wasn't a lot of being seen and heard in your dysfunctional family. And that when and this predates empathy circles, and so therefore, but people were really listening and not responding. And so therefore, that was very important experience for you.
And a lot of my work, particularly in the past year, I was experimenting with and facilitating a whole work. I'm in a whole cohorts system, and support group called healing from work. And it is kind of extending this idea of this family dysfunction, but it's also work has a lot of dysfunction and a lot of trauma. And so how might we use this feeling of listening, and storytelling together, to heal and community with each other?
Yeah, and you've been, we're involved with another group. So healing from work. And you talked about the parallels between family dynamics and work dynamics are the same sort of dysfunctional communications can arise, and through story, and other things, you know, you start to kind of tease those things out, and then allow people to have that process, and to have a different experience of feeling hurt.
Mm hmm. And I think that's a part of it. Um, something else that comes to mind for me is a key component of this ACA group that I'm part of adult children of alcoholics. That's what ACA stands for. Is, is like steps, right? A pathway that kind of says that how you can overcome healing, and how you can overcome, you know, and go through the change. And I think that is really important when we talk about the arc of change and and knowing that there's steps along the way that you can take and then you're going to be better off in the end. So I think that is something that that I'm, I'm been currently reflecting on right now.
Yeah. So one of the things that you appreciated about the ACA group is the structure and the steps and how you and I, you said overcome healing, but I think you might overcome trauma And so therefore, you know, and that's helpful to have a pathway and, you know, clear concrete steps in order to do that.
Yep. Yep. Yeah. And and I'm currently working on how might we do that? So thank you. I've been?
Oh, my pleasure. Okay, we have a few minutes. So anybody else have anything that they would like to say? I would like to just share? Sure, absolutely. Go ahead.
Yeah, I would like to just share. Thank you. Thank you, everyone, for having me part of this. It was really a great learning experience from all of you and learning about the great ideas that you shared, about exiting within the society with your life experience as well. Thank you. Thank you so much.
Oh, great. Having you. You certainly added to my experience as well. So
I had a quick question. If there's time. Yeah, sure. What, what is the best application for this? In other words, what is the end goal? What are we hoping to achieve out of it? Out of what? Out of an empathy circle?
not up to you?
Well, it's not I mean, each person, right, the good question. What What there is, is that I, this is my impression. So this is my impression, but what I've seen is that we are sort of conditioned by our society, to divide and categorize and label. And really, what I found is, is, again, my experience is that life is sort of a growing learning experience. And in order to do that to kind of rough rough parallel to Jodi's, you know, triangle is with something called Maslow's hierarchy of needs, that you need to do that. And so this provides an experience of not being responded to or argued with, but just being accepted. Carl Rogers called an unconditional positive regard. And, and again, so when I've done this, and we've gone to both, like political rallies on the right and the left, and when you just listen to someone and reflect without responding or your own ideas, it less becomes to like, Oh, you're in the left, I'm in the right. And just to human beings, you know, you know, you We not only eat meat, but we both like asparagus, or whatever it is. And so that's the idea is that everybody starts to feel good in a group social setting, about their own process. And that, you know, roughly,
thank you, I asked the question because, like, I know, for instance, and 12 Step programs, is very similar to this without the reflection, right. It's like a group of people coming around each person has an individual time when they're not interrupted, there's no crosstalk, and they walk away feeling heard, but the outcome is the other people in the room, hear them and relate and connect, and also gain ideas and open their mind. But there's no direct discussion about that. And then there are other times where, like, I'm part of this restorative justice and equity group in town. And they're always about let's take action. And they do these restorative circles where people share out but there's never a plan or, you know, any follow up or anything else that that does take the action. It's just talk, talk talk. So that's kind of why I was asking, like, you know, when would you use this? How would you use this? What is the outcome? I wouldn't use it
because I need like Heidi and Amy, I need Amy, to say to you that I hear you, and this is what I hear. Like that you need to you need to hold on to two truths. And so you guys are fighting. And so I need you to I need me to hear you by reflecting back to you. So that's how I would use it as a way to get you a book to own two truths at the same time.
Yeah. And part of that, one of the people, you know, is to find out about yourself, you know, what you do get here is to how are you being received? How are you being heard, you know, and so that helps you sort of craft your message and also see where you're coming up. I put in, by the way, my personal my email and stuff like that empathy in schools. If it goes, we have some, I have some strategies to do it in schools, when you don't have to hours obviously to do it or to do it. So just to let you know if that's something you're interested in. I also have developing empathy game, which uses theater games and things like that. And that'll be released very soon. Free.
Are you doing this every Thursday? Because I work most Thursday evenings.
Yeah, but you could you could email me and just say, Hey, Bill, let's have a Zoom meeting. You know, and then we could talk a little bit about, you know, some nitty gritty. Thank you. All right. Any video last, we have 34 seconds.
Anybody heard of appreciative inquiry?
I have. I have. Yeah, we're writing
a book about appreciative inquiry in school systems. Great.
This group has been very stimulating and interesting for me. I've learned a lot from each of you. And so thank you. I feel very grateful.
Enjoy the snow. That's common saline.
Yeah. All right. I'm trying.
He was doing it.
We, we always, hey, think everybody's back. Welcome back up, though, is still popping in. Let's give it a second here till everybody comes back. So welcome back, everyone. Larry's hope you had a good time. And learned a lot. And Larry is going to be guiding this part of this session. So you have some time for a debrief.
All right. Welcome back, everyone. And now we will go around the room and share for about 30 seconds about your experience in the empathy circle, or share an idea that came up for you. So I'm going to go around the screen. And please help me by miss someone. Remind me, please. Everyone, do you want to do this going around the room like that? Do we have time?
Well, if people want to raise their hand, if you have something on your mind, you can raise your hand if people don't raise their hand, Larry's just going to call on people. So if you want to start calling on people, and then if people raise their hand, maybe select them if you're they're feeling moved to speak.
And yeah, would you say what, what it was like for you today, the empathy circle. And if you have one idea that came up, that'd be great if you'd share that.
Thank you so much, Larry. So I got a lot out of this. And we went around and spoken with him quite a few times. And I could even feel the progress, you know, after the second time of speaking, or the second time of listening, and then the third. So thank you for that. And I think one of the most valuable things that we discussed and learned about is the difference between sympathy and empathy, and also compassion. And so we discussed various aspects of what what Empathy means. Thank you.
Thank you, Anya. And Mary, would you share? What would the experience of empathy was like today?
It was really profound. It was pretty intense. being heard, hearing myself listening to myself, being reflected, hearing other people's experiences as well. Was very impactful. It was pretty, it was very moving.
Thank you, Mary. And Barbie, Daniel, would you share?
Hi, Barbie Danielle. And thank you for holding this today. What I really loved about our circle was that we persevered and held strong, it was uncomfortable. And we were all courageous. And so that's that really to me exampled empathy at its core. And I pass my word back to you, Larry, thank you.
Thank you, Barbie. And Heidi, would you share please?
Hi, yeah, um, I always find opportunities to share like this where we can either reflect back or know that we are truly listened to is such a connecting thing. You know, I don't I don't know the people that were in my group, but I feel really connected to them. I feel safe. I feel heard I feel seen. Which you know, isn't isn't common in our world. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. And I remember one time walking through San Francisco, thinking how can I be surrounded by so many people get the elope? I'm so in order to be heard, like, this is just such a human thing that we all need as part of our base foundation for safety and belonging. And I really appreciate having the opportunity to be here today. Thank you.
Thank you, Heidi. And Lisa, would you share please?
Yes, so what struck me about the empathy circle today was how we progressed from being strangers to really feel having this ease by the end, and depth of just connection, I think. And one huge takeaway, we talked about a lot was slowing the pace down, slowing the conversation down to really sink in and express. And listen. So yeah. Thank you.
Thank you, Chris, would you share Bruce? Yes, thank
you. And I really connected to the energy of the first group that shared and felt all of your powerful experience and same in our group. And, and when we frame things differently from are we sharing a story that is vulnerable? Or it's something that's emotional, it creates a different container, or, or kind of energy field to drop into empathy? We're also curious about what did we mean by empathy? What's that definition. And then also, the power of using this for personally for for our work, especially when you have groups that are divided, or you have real conflict, or you're looking to build peace, is how to get specifically clear that someone's really hearing what it is that you're sharing? And how, what a valuable tool that that is, and looking forward to applying it. So thank you all.
Thank you, Chris.
And Zack de Shaw, would you share, please?
Yeah, hi, everyone. Thank you for having me here today. And I would like to just share that it was an amazing experience, really an eye opener for many people giving out and different ideas, what empathy is mean to them, and how they have been through the journey in the empathy, and learning about new tools and why it is so important in our lives. Like, in each and every person having that experience and that importance in their life. It is so much enlightening, and so much understanding that how it grows onto the people and how it works with anybody. Thank you so much for having me.
Thank you lovely, Sharon. And Sen, would you share, please.
So, um, being in the group with, started as strangers, you know, and having some, some conversations that were impactful. And also, you know, conversations around trauma and stuff came up, a bring me present to we're all one big circle of human beings that's dealing with some of the same thing on a different scale. And I was really, I really felt connected to my group, in the very end.
Thank you, Kathy. And
so for, for me, it was interesting that we, we had a group where some people dropped out through connection, and someone suddenly had a situation to deal with. So we had a lot of flat flux within our group. But we still managed to end up with the four of us feeling, I think, a sense of connection, and it was an interesting exploration of somehow what gets in the way of listening, in ourselves and outside of ourselves. So I appreciate that opportunity to meet with and share some time with those people. Thank you.
Thank you. And do share, please,
Marie. Yes. Yes. So I wasn't honest. It was a discussion about compassion and, and sympathy and empathy and differences. It was very, it was very interesting. But the other thing that kind of struck me through the process is that being heard, really being felt like you're being heard, is actually more powerful than having some Greek with you. because you don't need people to agree, but you need people to listen. And it's very powerful. So thank you everyone assumed my group.
Thank you. And Kara, would you share, please?
I, you know, I always come into these without expectation. And every time I think no, this one, this was the one that was the best empathy circle. I learned more this time and every time. But this time, I learned a whole new level of what it is to see and reflect. We know it's impactful for ourselves. But learning that sometimes you can just see a situation and reflect that situation. And the kind of power and impact just seeing and reflecting works, not just for ourselves, but for the world around us. So thank you to my group, and to everyone who decided to show up today. This one was
the best one.
Thank you. And Zoe, would you share, please,
I arrived late. But I had a conversation with Edwin and I am so glad to be involved in this because we were talking about a potential program that we can do with the police and the community. In Santa Monica, we have the newly formed Public Safety and Oversight commission with the police. So this is an a work that we all need to do together. And I'm excited to join the new the next one. That will be a brainstorming for a potential Retreat Center in Santa Barbara.
Thank you. So reading and we love round. Would you share please?
Oh, I thought the experience was excellent. I thought the people in my group, Kara Jean, Barbie Danielle bat. And Jan, they were the we had a great group. We really touched on some excellent topics. And it got a little emotional. But we really worked together to help each other. And we we really had a great session. It was it was wonderful. And they were really this great. It was it was excellent. I really enjoyed myself if this was my first time. And I'm definitely going to be back because I met some great people today. It was wonderful.
Thank you tweet, and jam box, would you share please?
Well, I've participated in quite a few empathy circles, honestly, and I have never been as moved. As I was today. I you know, through hearing different stories, particularly what Twyla shared it just revealed this issue of grief that I have been ignoring, with the shift in my organization, from really embracing diversity, to even going to the point of where we aren't really going to be having a lot of conversations about diversity as an education. So anyway, I felt really supported and connected. And I really appreciate it today. A great amount it was i I just want to be in continued contact with like minded people. It's just amazing. Empathy is where it's at. It really is. So thank you.
Thank you, Jan. Crystal, would you share please?
Yes. And thank you enjoyed making connections with other members of my group and practicing listening and if they skills and acknowledging what speakers are saying, to follow up on the framework that Jan had presented, I believe what I see forming is a way to help build a more culturally human humble workforce and to facilitate more inclusive pneus and belongingness in the workforce for which I manage. Thank you.
Thank you, Crystal. Terry,
would you share feelings.
This was also my first empathy circle. And our group was talking about listening and just the container of listening in that formal in this formal way. And how even though we weren't, you know, not necessarily offering it advice or problem solving, but how our own patterns of being misunderstood or the need to problem solve, and all of these things that usually get in the way of listening, are just removed in the container of this exercise. And in that, in the hour that we chatted in D, the relationship relationships just are so weird that, yeah, this group of people from all over the world and an hour later, is, you know, this developed relationship and care and concern across the globe. And awesome, thank you.
Thank you cheering,
Sebastian would you should be?
Sure. For me, this was a really great experience, but that's the experience. And it's a special to me, because because I'm the process of personally and the process of understanding others. As a society, as a race as as, as, as as a species. And, and these kinds of experiences are, I will be the block in that kind of learning. So thanks to all of you. And I hope see you in the next days or weeks. And thanks for participating.
So to keep us on time, Larry pike could do one more, and then we'll need to close.
Soon. And Melissa, would you share, please.
I'm just so grateful. And thank you to my group members, I so appreciated, feeling really hurt by them. But what they shared. Just, I'm very touched by and I'm going to explore some of the metaphor that was shared. So thank you.
Silvia, would you like to go real quick, we're running out of time would you like to share?
It was my first time and I was with theory. And just like her, I really experienced a connection between the four of us, it was really great to hear, to get to know ourselves with what others say. And realize that we are all together in what I appreciate is what I think is Mary said is we don't need people to agree. We need people to listen, we need to be listened to. So thank you very much for this experience. And we'll be back.
Thank you, everyone. My apologies that we didn't have time for everyone. But keep coming back. Please. Over Do you
want to keep us on time. So we have a few things for the closing. It's so wonderful to see everyone here. And these, this feedback is just amazing. I put a link some links into the chat. The first one is our schedules. Going forward, you can click on that at empathy circles.com schedule, you can see our upcoming schedule of different events. We have another monthly Cafe on this topic of conflict resolution. It'll be Saturday, April 22. And it's also National Week of conversation. So in the United States, there's a bunch of organizations working to create conversation during that week in April, and we'll be holding another one of these conflict, mediation and peacebuilding cafes. So I hope you'll come to that. But next week too, we have the we for the next ongoing weeks until April 22. We're going to be having these empathy Cafe so you can come back next week, same link. And the topic though is going to be a bit different. It's the My brother has purchased a property and I'm actually going to show you a little quick screenshot here have it and he bought a retreat center in Santa Barbara. So this is it the facilities. It's an old Catholic seminary, and he asked me to manage it and to have for our empathy center to manage it and create empathy programs. So we're going to be talking about how might we create an empathy Center at this location. It's a beautiful place. This is Santa Barbara, California. It's up on the Hill has about 55,000 square feet of property or of buildings on 35 acres. So our topic next week is wanting to hear your vision for how we can build an empathy center there for conflict mediation, bridging political divides, we were talking previously about the police and community relationships, how could we hold workshops that are maybe even have a center for bridging divides between different ethnic groups, social groups, political groups, community and police, etc. So I'm like super jazzed and looking to hear your ideas, your vision of what we can do there. So do join us again, next week is the same Zoom Room if you save that link, and then I also put in a feedback form a link to a feedback form, hopefully that showed up. Maybe you want to be sure I have that because it's there. Okay, so with that feedback, if you can go in there and just give feedback, you know, for those that weren't able to give feedback today, because of time, you can add your comments, or just anything, any sort of feedback, plus you put your email in there, we can add you to our email, so you'll get all the updates about upcoming cafes. So want to keep us on time to we've gone over a few minutes. Kathy, any final comments as facilitator?
Oh, thank you all for being here was very rich. And we'll love seeing all of you come back.
And we'd like to end with our jazz hands makes nice little picture for screenshare. So thanks, everyone, if you're a facilitator, and for the circle facilitator, if you could stay back for a few minutes, we're just debrief. So bye, everyone.