Dialogue Circles can also take the form of Restorative Circles, which is a process for supporting groups in conflict. It brings together the parties in conflict – those who have acted, those directly impacted and the wider group – within an intentional context to dialogue as equals.
Conflict is often a common reality of groups, and it may occur on The Gateway Retreat. We believe that change and disruption actually leads to greater harmony, and we use Restorative Dialogues to support people and groups to find deeper understanding, empathy and reconciliation.
The focus is to provide a safe, supportive space where participants can talk about sensitive topics, work through differences, and resolve conflict in a supportive and restorative way. They invite:
- shared power
- mutual understanding
- effective action
“The fundamental premise of restorative practices is that people are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes when those around us do things with us, rather than to us or for us.”
Restorative Circles are facilitated in 3 stages:
- Identity the key factors in the conflict
- Reach agreements on next steps
- Evaluate the results