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Talking Circles: Why Round Tables Matter

The names are various - talking circles, healing circles, peacemaking circles - all have deep roots in the traditional practices of indigenous people in North America, and among the First Nations people of Canada.

The gathering of a community in one space, the allowance of free expression, the taking of space and time to give words to a feeling, a need, a grievance, even, is the way in which our ancestors along the evolutionary tree have over millennia, communicated.

Dining tables that are square or rectangle have a completely different energy to one that is oval or circular. Where does the concept of a professional 'round table' come from, ask yourself?

Without the hard edges of sharp geometry, a flow of communication ensues.

Many times, liberating a meeting from the confines of boardroom or classroom table, can lead to unexpected, and important, conversations. People may take it in turns to speak, or simply the speaker holds an object, that draws in the attention, and energy of the team, as they speak. Eye contact is optional, deep listening, impossible to avoid.

Beyond the world of work, any dynamic which involves the collaboration of many individuals around a common aim or cause, can benefit from taking on a circle.

'A circle has no end.'

Isaac Asimov

Critical thinking | Communication | Collaboration | Creativity

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