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Council

Council Practice photo

An Amazing Dialogue Process Called Council :

 For businesses, groups, schools, organizations

"What a powerful weekend. The depth and connection that was created during our time in Council together made a deep impact on me and changed how I continue with my work. Diana combined many layers of healing that were both beautifully woven together and immediately useful in practice. It was a personal and professional joy to participate in this weekend, I’m truly grateful."
~ Mandi Bartelle

Council is a simple and yet profound process of group interaction. It is a process in which we listen deeply, share from our hearts, and without judgment, and tell stories of our lives, loves, challenges, losses, joys, successes, hopes and dreams.  It can be done in a circle anywhere, led by a trained practitioner. Circles can hold any number of people, of any age (as long as the people are able to sit still in a circle, so not best for young kids). A council process can be done in almost any period of time, but best to have at least an hour or  more. It can be done over a series of days, or even as a one-time process. People come out of council feeling refreshed, more relaxed, and with more tools at hand to cope with whatever is in their life.

Council Practice Process

The council process is a practice that has been used for decades in workplaces, schools, business and professional organizations, healthcare organizations, law enforcement agencies, among others, to promote communication, support, resilience, better group and team practices, deeper relationships, teamwork, and wellbeing.

This extraordinarily powerful group methodology can help to defuse tensions, resolve conflicts, support teams to find better ways to work and be together, and generally transform relationships in myriad ways.  It is fun, deep, easy, and inclusive,  and brings people and groups connection and healing for which so many people long. The process supports all to participate only in ways with which each individual is comfortable, and never requires anyone to do anything or participate in any way that is not desired by them.

The process is easy to learn at first, and can be taught and replicated within a school, organization or workplace so that teams can practice in an ongoing manner. People tend to be amazed at the power of this work, and generally want to continue as the benefits become quite clear before long. The long-term benefits are numerous. This process can be powerful as well in the aftermath of traumatic events or time periods, such as that which we have all faced during this pandemic.

Generally a council session lasts anywhere from an hour to a full day, depending on the needs of the group, and the number of people involved.  Nothing is needed beyond a room in which everyone can comfortably sit.  

  • Council is a way to help people who are working in stressful situations by helping to regulate the nervous system, much as acupuncture does

  • Council helps to bring people back to themselves and into relationship with each other in ways that may not be so readily available in the midst of the regular work

  • Council helps with team-building and creating emotionally safe workplaces and organizations, thereby making the entire team and workplace/ organization more productive

  • Council helps people to heal, to play, to feel more freedom, to sleep better, to give more meaning to work when it feels challenging

  • Council helps people have ways to work with conflicts, violence and challenges interpersonally, to gather the broken and fragmented  pieces and help put them back together

  • Council introduces people to new aspects of each other thereby creating more mutual respect

  • Council helps people deal with shattered parts, with grief, anxiety, anger and sadness and to see new ways of being, reflected in the group process; this helps to transform emotional states into healthier, happier and more resilient ways of being

  • Council helps people to understand the stories of people’s lives; thereby increasing tolerance, empathy and compassion about differences, heightening our ability to see more of our shared humanity and interconnectedness

Council Practice - group celebration photo

From The Way Of Council, by Jack Zimmerman and Gigi Coyle

 

" We listen in council with more than our ears. … as we practice the way of council, we listen increasingly without reaction, without being influenced by long-held thoughts or associations… When we listen this way and the person speaking is able to do so authentically, we can see his or her story unfolding in front of us. 

 

Participating in council teaches us how to let go of personal expectations and become fully attentive to others….

 

Compassion arises naturally when we listen with respect and express ourselves honestly with an open heart… In this state of collective awareness, diversity and disagreement do not lead as readily to polarization and hostility. 

 

Learning to hear the voice of council can help people transcend even the most deeply ensconced cultural, racial, and personal identifications…[Council] Reduces the fear and despair of isolation… Witnessing the truth of the circle emerge from a cacophony of diverse views can be a remarkable experience."

More information about our Council Workshops: Introduction to the Way of Council Training (2023)

For more information about Council you can check these links:

 

circleways.org

centerforcouncil.org

Group sitting together for council practice

Welcome to Transformation that Lasts! 

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