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The Circle Way: A Leader in Every Chair

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  142 ratings  ·  12 reviews
All modern group processes that are open to collaboration or to flattening the hierarchy are based in some way on circle practices. As organizations of all kinds move increasingly toward shared and rotating leadership, they are calling on the circle model to form sustainable teams and adopt circle-driven group processes such as World Café, Open Space, and Art of Hosting. M ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 12th 2010 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers (first published August 21st 1987)
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Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Circle Way: A Leader in Every Chair by Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea is a book about participating in conversations in which we can fully listen and speak to each other. The circle is an ancient social pattern, which invites participation and contribution. Because circle has been held around the common fire for thousands of years, it is remembered as a place of light and warmth. However, just as fire requires tending, the circle requires tending.

In circle, ancient ways of distributing lea
Tuscany Bernier
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great read that I read for my work with the Indiana Voices of Women. Circle work in social settings can be put in business or leisure, personal or impersonal relationships, and it can really help all sorts of relationship formations. Through reading this work, I began to understand the history of using circles in social settings and how to create a space for honoring all voices, honoring our inner wisdom, and how get a step closer when discussing deep issues.
....listening is a contribution we offer one another.

Who doesn't want to have more meaningful interactions? This is a guidebook for having better conversations, discussions, and meetings. It's an indispensable resource for participatory circles and addressing underlying issues. I picked my copy up years ago at a conference that starts in an opening circle and ends in a closing circle (although the last time I attended, the closing circle was not a circle.) I read this again in full because that
An introduction and guide to the Circle Way: a process for people to meet with intentionality and democracy. Through Circle Way, leadership rotates, the responsibility is shared by everyone, and the group relies on its wholeness. All members of the circle speak with intention, listen with attention, and tend to the well-being of the circle.

This book is full of incredible ways to foster deep, intentional conversation. I do wish that there was more focus on speaking in "neutral language" and at so
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-list-2020
The concept is fantastic; this book is unfortunately bloated and incredibly difficult to get through. Concept, testimonial, and examples are given in confusing non-linear form throughout—almost as if it’s a very long ad for their consulting company. This might be intentional to drum up business because I sure wasn’t feeling confident about implementing the concept by myself after I finished the book.
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great introduction to this participatory methodology. Changed my life and led me to do proper training. I am NOT a facilitator, but you learn there's is so much to consider when having conversations that matter, and helping even everyday meetings be places of learning and listening. Excellent stuff. ...more
Jan 21, 2021 added it
I just want to call circles in all spheres of my life and I am so grateful I get to do it for my job. It's been cool to read more about a way of gathering that I learned by doing. I appreciated all the case studies which helped me recognize the different contexts in which circles can be used. ...more
Karen Cockerill
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve wanted to read this book for years, I scoured bookstores for it and finally got intentional and ordered it. I’m so glad I did as it did not disappoint. I so resonate with this book and can’t wait to start practicing and using the circle in my life. A must read for anyone in leadership.
Nam Pham
I immediately felt like home when I started reading the book. I never thought to be brave enough to slow things down and showed people that it is important to to do so collectively. This book offers not only a framework but a call for a return to an ancient way of knowing embedded deep within our DNA, as well as a push for each of us to be brave and conscious as we are always a leader in our own chair.
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Clearly written wisdom, drawing on ancient practices that makes sense in today's complex world. ...more
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Easy to read book with plenty of examples to validate the potential of using Circle for social change and people empowerment.
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