For the safe exploration of Relational Presence, we agree to maintain the following standards of support:

As audience members, to the best of our ability we:

  • Keep our eyes gently available to the person in front of the group
  • Remain quiet, except for laughter if it comes naturally
  • Do not respond out loud, even if asked a question by the person in front
  • Do not take notes or engage in any other distracting behavior

As the person in front of the group we:

  • Begin in silence with at least one full breath
  • Always be with one person at a time
  • May speak or be silent
  • Do not speak about individuals in the Circle
  • Do not mention another person’s content except as a point of departure for our own

When giving appreciation, we do :

  • Keep it concise and simple, about this turn only
  • Keep it absolutely positive
  • Reflect back the essence qualities of the person

When giving appreciation, we do not :

  • Refer to the content of what the person said
  • Evaluate or compare this turn with previous turns or with other participants
  • Analyze, coach, advise, evaluate, encourage, interpret
  • Turn attention to ourselves

When receiving appreciation, we:

  • Just take it in while continuing to be with one person at a time
  • Do not make comments other than “thank you”

During breaks and after the Circle, we:

  • Do not bring up another participant’s content unless we ask for and receive specific permission. This includes advice, good ideas and questions. Even well-meaning discussion of content takes the focus away from essence and presence.

To maintain confidentiality, we:

  • Do not mention anyone’s content outside of the Circle without permission

If you have questions about any of these Standards of Support, please bring them to the attention of the Speaking Circle Facilitator.

© 2003 – 2009, Lee Glickstein. All rights reserved. [Adapted from Be Heard Now!, Broadway Books]