The Gateway Retreat
You Are Viewing

Dialogue Circles

“To dialogue is the wish to see what is in another’s heart”

Dialogue Circles have been used throughout the world to bring diverse groups of people into alignment as ‘One-Body’, fostering shared understanding, empathy and consensus decision-making. They typically take 3 main styles:

  • Dialogue Circle – to promote shared learning and understanding
  • Talking or Sharing Circle – to build connection and empathy
  • Restorative or Healing Circle – to heal and resolve conflict

Dialogue Circles are shared explorations towards greater understanding and meaning. They are conversations in which participants make a conscious attempt to suspend their assumptions, refrain from debate or argument, and instead focus on both individual and group learning.

Dialogue circles combine open communication with deep listening, where participants speak from experience and release the need for specific outcome. This process builds a learning environment in which conversations can take on an open and curious quality, and creates an environment in which change can readily occur.

  • A group where all people sit as equals
  • The interface between knowledge and communication
  • A group that demonstrates respectful interactions between participants
  • A forum which allows honest communication and shared responsibility
  • Where people sit in a circle and listen deeply while taking turns to talk

Dialogue Circle

What can a Dialogue Circle offer?

  • Enable and enrich group learning experiences
  • Promote interpersonal and group connectedness
  • Allows people to explore other viewpoints with mutual respect
  • Provides a safe environment for people to speak honestly and to be heard
  • Gives a sense of empowerment and inspiration while promoting the values of respect, acceptance, deep listening curiosity and responsibility
  • A tool for reciprocal sharing and learning

When is a Dialogue Circle useful?

  • Hearing people’s views on a topic
  • Reciprocal sharing and learning
  • Building trusting relationships
  • Dealing with conflict before it leads to other measures

What makes Dialogue unique?

At the heart of Dialogue Circles is insight, which leads to change. Insight is different from theoretical knowledge. Insight is based on a personal understanding related to one’s own experience. A learning approach based on insight not only helps a person to re-examine their own life experiences, it also provides new experiences from which to derive new insights.

Dialogue Circles are not about the Socratic question and answer version of dialogue. Rather the whole process is treated as a dialogue. The term dialogue is used in its strict sense of speaking and listening, but also more broadly to refer to how people are relating, communicating, problem solving and creating together.

A process of reflection naturally unfolds in a Dialogue Circle and supports turning new ideas and experiences into insights. Through the art of speaking and listening,the dialogue transitions from its typical norm-based and positional forms to the more insight-rich reflective and generative forms, which occurs as a result of many small acts of leadership within the group. 

One of the “aha moments” for many individuals in a Dialogue Circle is when they fully realise that the truth, richness and depth of their individual learning depends on how well the group learns together.

“Experience a group free of judgement, where we embrace
the diversity of each individual as a great asset in creating
a richer, more meaningful and wiser group.”

See Our Upcoming Retreats

Our retreats are run in Northern NSW, Australia at the base of the majestic Mount Warning,
35 minutes from Gold Coast airport and 2 hours from Brisbane. 

Eventbrite - Collective Mind - 'The Gateway' (TAS)