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Updated: Dec 12, 2021

This Circle Facilitator Guide explores the social influence window, also known as the social discipline window or the relationship matrix. Use this circle with your team, class, students, organization, or community to explore what it means for you to be with rather than do things to or for each other.

Welcome to the Space of the Circle.

  • MINDFULNESS MOMENT Pause, breathe, and listen to the sound


The Universe is circles within circles, and everything is

one circle, and all the circles are connected to each other.

Each family is a circle, and those family circles connect

together and make a community, and the community

makes its circle where it lives on the Earth. [The community]

cares for that part [of the Earth] but cares for it as a circle –

which is to say in a cooperative and egalitarian way, where

everybody is cared for, and everybody is respected.

Black Elk

  • INTRODUCE "ROUNDS" A "round" is a pass of the talking piece around the Circle. The keeper poses a question and, as a participant, may answer first. The keeper then passes the talking piece to the person to their left or right (or names the next person over Zoom).

    • On the first round, participants are invited to say their name and pronouns as well as respond to the question. Remember, it is always okay for a participant to pass.

    • FIRST ROUND Please share your name and pronouns and introduce a talking piece or special item you have with you today

  • Remind the group of Circle values and guidelines. These can be ones established in previous circles or be created new each time with new participants. Some helpful sharing guidelines may include:

    • Share what you feel comfortable sharing.

    • Respect the talking piece

    • You can pass at any time.

    • Be mindful of time.

    • Respect the privacy of those sharing.

    • Trust intent/name impact

    • Use “I” statements

    • Speak from the heart/listen from the heart

    • Be here now

    • Prioritize connection before content

    • Be both teachers and learners

    • Have fun!

  • ROUND How would you describe your internal weather right now?

  • ROUND Think about a person in your life that has had the greatest impact on you, someone you respected the most. What allowed you to feel this way? What is one word that would describe what was special about this person?

  • ROUND When this person challenged you, when you did something wrong or weren’t living up to your potential, how did this person treat you?

  • ROUND Think about a time when you did something FOR someone without giving them guidance to do it themselves. What was that experience like?

  • ROUND Think about a time when you did something TO someone in a punitive way without care or support. How did you feel about your relationship afterwards?

  • ROUND Think about a time when you felt ignored by a leader. How did you feel afterwards?

  • ROUND Think about a time when someone in a position of authority or influence treated you restoratively (WITH). What was that experience like for you?

  • CHECK-OUT ROUND Share a takeaway or a commitment to try to be more restorative in your daily life.

  • CLOSING Choose another short breathing exercise or meaningful quote

In Lak'ech

Tú eres mi otro yo. / You are my other me.

Si te hago daño a ti, / If I do harm to you,

Me hago daño a mi mismo. / I do harm to myself.

Si te amo y respeto, / If I love and respect you,

Me amo y respeto yo. / I love and respect myself.

-Pensamiento Serpentino (Serpentine Thought) is a poem by Chicano playwright Luis Valdez

  • Thank everyone for participating in the Circle!

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