Facilitator Support and
Empathy Buddy Calls
Building Community and Mutual Support for Facilitators
Part of being an Empathy Circle facilitator is to be part of a community and have mutual support from other facilitators so you can support each other when you host Empathy Circles, Cafes, and other projects. As a facilitator, it is important to have as much personal support as possible. By support, we mean where you can share and be empathically heard, feel a connection, get assistance, have a sense of community, have questions answered etc. because it can feel stressful and overwhelming to facilitate Empathy Circles.
This is especially true when we move into conflict resolution which can feel quite stressful and challenging. When facilitating circles with people who are dealing with deep emotional issues like alienation, depression, grief, trauma, anger, mental illness, dysfunction, addiction, etc. We need to support each other in facilitation.
Your Empathy Buddy Call: Facilitator Community and Mutual Support
Part of being an Empathy Circle facilitator is to be part of a community and to have mutual support with other facilitators. You can support each other when you host Empathy Circles, Cafes, and other projects. As a facilitator, it is important to have as much personal support as possible.
Tips for Scheduling Your Empathy Buddy Call
The scheduling can be a challenge with finding a time that works. Different time zones also can complicate connection.
Each week we will pair you with a different participant in your cohort.
Between now and the next session, connect with that person. Have a 30-minute mutual support call on Zoom or Skype, etc. Feel free to do it longer if you have the time and inclination.
If schedules make it difficult for you to connect, just do your best. You may not be able to connect every week due to scheduling conflict.
More Tips for Scheduling
How to Conduct Your Empathy Buddy Call
Divide the time equally whether you are speaking for 30 minutes or an hour.
Person 1 gets 15 minutes to talk about their experience in the training while Person 2 empathically listens by reflecting back to the speaker what s/he is saying.
Or you can take 5-minute turns until your allotted time is over.
Then switch roles and Person 2 talks for the allotted time and Person 1 empathically listens.
Allow time to debrief your call.
Share your experience of the Empathy Call at the next session.
What to Talk About? Suggested Topics Include: What is your experience of the training to date? What are your concerns, anxieties, fears or expectations? Or just talk about what is on your mind.
Buddy Calls Offer Many Forms of Support to Grow a Culture of Empathy
We all need support in our lives. This helps ground us, helps with thinking more clearly, helps with releasing frustrations etc. The calls can be structured in a way that works for everyone.
Two facilitators meet for an hour, each person get 30 minutes to share and get empathically heard.
Two facilitators meet for an hour, and one facilitator gets heard for the full hour. Then in the next meeting, the other facilitator gets heard for an hour.
What is your idea of what would best support you?
Facilitation can be stressful. You can have a pre circle or post circle to be empathically heard. You share concerns you may have, which can be grounding. You get a bit of an empathy bath. When we set up the Empathy Tent out in public, for example, we start with the tent team having an Empathy Circle for a quick check in and grounding.
You may want to co-facilitate with another facilitator. This can take off some of the pressure of having all the responsibility for the circle. It's helpful to have a pool of facilitators you can reach out to that may co-facilitate a circle with you. We have a community of facilitators ready to support you. You will also make contacts in the Empathy Training.
After an Empathy Circle, Empathy Cafe, Empathy Tent or Restorative Empathy Circle, where there are multiple breakout circles with facilitators in each one, the facilitators meet to debrief the call or event. This provides an opportunity to share experiences, challenges, successes, learnings and ask questions.
Facebook Empathy Circle Facilitator Support Group
This is a private Facebook Group for individuals that are in the facilitator training or have completed the training. Click on the link to join the group.
Links You May Find Useful
Weekly Facilitators Support Group Weekly Zoom call where you can come and share an Empathy Circle project you have. This can be an intention, idea, a plan or an actual project in process. You can come to the group to receive feedback and support from other facilitators. Or just bring any questions, challenges, success, etc. that you would like to share. The dates are usually every second Friday and are announced on the Empathy Circle Development Email List.