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The Circle Way: A Leader in Every Chair Paperback – Mar 12 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1 edition (March 12 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605092568
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605092560
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.6 x 21.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“A perfect travel guide for all who are committed to making the world a better place. The circle deserves to become an independent field of study, and this book gets that going. Read it.’
—Peter Block, author of Stewardship, Flawless Consulting, and Community

“This superb book, put into practice, can transform the way you work and live.”

—Parker J. Palmer, founder, Center for Courage & Renewal, and author of A Hidden Wholeness, Let Your Life Speak, and The Courage to Teach

Book Description

This book lays out the structure of circle conversation, based on the original work of the co-authors who have studied and standardized the essential elements that constitute circle practice. It takes readers through a circle visual (the Components of Circle) and presents both structure and story so that readers understand how these elements come into play and how they interrelate and interact.  It also embeds circle process experience in stories and examples drawing on the authors’ 15 years of experience as global thought leaders and originators of this form, and it presents detailed instructions and suggestions for getting started, setting goals, and solving conflicts. Meetings in the round have become the preferred tool for moving individual commitment into group action.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Purchased for someone else, but when it arrived I so wanted to read it, so it will eventually wind its way back to me.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good for facilitators.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa59aad64) out of 5 stars 14 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa58187f8) out of 5 stars Transforming the world, one small group at a time Sept. 26 2012
By Joyce - Published on
Format: Paperback
For those of us who have been meeting in circles for many years this book summarizes and adds to circle wisdom. As Peter Block says in his book, Community, "Small groups are the unit of transformation." Circles are coming into their own, no longer a countercultural phenomenon, as classrooms, board rooms, couples, families, and businesses large and small are experiencing the power of the circle.

Instead of a facilitator, these authors suggest three rotating leadership roles: the host, the guardian, and the scribe. The guardian is like what we used to call "vibes watcher" or "keeper of the heart." This person rings the bell when she senses a pause is needed. The authors use talking pieces when appropriate. (We used a talking stick or a rock. They suggest a feather for some processes and tossing a Koosh ball to pick up the pace.) A thumbs vote is suggested for straw polls: thumbs up for "I'm in favor;" thumbs down for "I don't think this is the right way to go;" or thumbs sideways for "I still have a question." Three practices are recommended for verbal interaction: Attentive listening (we called it "listening from the heart"); Intentional Speaking (our phrase was "speak from the heart, saying as much as needed and no more than necessary"); and Attending to the Well-being of the Group.

The book underlines the importance of opening up to conflictual issues that often are swept under the table. These authors call those issues the "Shadow." In his work with groups, Arnold Mindell refers to the "Ghosts," while Block simply calls them "dissent." Each of these authors has different methods but all agree, as Baldwin and Linnea say: "The only way `out' is `through,'" and that collective healing can result.

This book offers further tools to transform the world, one small group at a time.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa57a9d98) out of 5 stars Outstanding addition to a leader's library April 4 2010
By P. J. Sampel - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Baldwin and Linnea have created a masterpiece in detailing and explaining how to use "The Circle Way" as a means of collaborative decision-making, structure and process. Any business leader, HR professional, or individual working to bring diverse groups of people together to work collaboratively should have multiple copies of this book to use/refer to/give away. The Circle Way provides the reader with real-life examples and stories of how this deceptively simple, yet very successful process and structure works to bring people together to create and build healthy organizations and communities of all types. An outstanding choice for your own library.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5760b64) out of 5 stars Everyone Needs This Book!! March 11 2010
By Sarah N. MacDougall Ed.D. - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Circle Way is an easy read, full of stories about how circle has transformed individual lives and organizational culture. There are many methods used to help people communicate more effectively. The circle process as beautifully described and documented in this book brings ancient knowledge back into today's world and provides the means to be more fully human with one another. As we search for ways to have meaningful conversations in all areas of life, using the invaluable and detailed information in this book can only enhance our efforts. I highly recommend this book to every human on the planet!!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5471d08) out of 5 stars Circle: A Sound Process for Progress April 20 2010
By G. W. Guzzeau - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Of all the books in my burgeoning leadership & entrepreneurship library, The Circle Way stands out. This book is crisp and clear in its balanced presentation of theory and guidance for facilitating circle discussion. The use of anecdotes and examples from across fields and disciplines illuminates the power of circle and the soundness of this practice for leaders or practitioners seeking to energize and engage their respective colleagues/clients/peers. I especially like the description of the conversation between the authors and the Iraqi war veteran about the huddle in circle on the battlefield as something that does and can occur within and along side the chain of any organization.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6dedaa4) out of 5 stars Excellent Reading for All Change-Makers April 6 2010
By Marilyn J. Morgan - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Circle Way is a profound description of the components of creating circles that enable deep listening, and building respectful structures for resolution of problem areas in all and personal. The work that the authors have done over the past 20 years has clearly been distilled into the wisdom about caring for ourselves and our earth. All people interested in working to change any structure that is unproductive will welcome this information. If you are serious about loving the Earth and envisioning a healthier place to live, this book contains maps to achieve these visions. I highly recommend this book to professional and non professional alike. The stories offered within the book will touch a wide range of people and emotions. It is a great read and you will be armed with new tools for handling communication.