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Open Question Circles

A simple, powerful process  to help us realize our own deepest needs and values regarding a group, organization, community or activity that’s important to us — and to discover needs and values that are shared by others and held in common. These realizations can open doors to richer relationships, insights and possibilities.

Participants gather in circles of 4-7 people, each with a “Designated Facilitator” who has a card with three things written on it:

  • “What would make _______ [the name of the shared organization, enterprise or circumstance] more wonderful for you?”
  • “What would that do for you personally?”
  • “Thank you.”

After a very brief initial discussion laying out the guidelines for the circle and encouraging participants to listen deeply to each other, each Designated Facilitator asks the person sitting next to him or her the first question. The other person takes a moment to let an answer emerge and then shares it briefly. This process is repeated for the second question. The Designated Facilitator thanks the answerer and hands them the card. The person who just answered the questions then asks the same questions of the next person, thanks them, hands them the card — and so it goes, around the circle. There is no cross-talk, discussion or criticism during this go-round process and participants may “pass” at any time. Each person is in complete control of their degree of self-exposure.

Related: Circles

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