What Can I Expect?
The training helps prepare you for the circles in two ways:
Supporting Others – The training teaches skills in –mindful and empathetic listening, asking meaningful questions through learning the practice of motivational interviewing and creating safe space. Trainers are campus staff and outside resources that have expert knowledge in these areas. Much of the training involves practicing these skills through reflective dialogue with the other students who will be in your ETC Circle.
Readying Yourself –
Participants engage in reflective writing and conversation to explore who they are when they are living as their best self. They then explore what in their life they may want to enhance or change in order to more readily live in this dynamic and powerful way. Most students begin by focusing on one aspect of life to invest in for the purpose of this group. Though this may change over time, this initial focus provides a starting point for entering into the circle time.
Intentional Living – Participants practice discerning and articulating areas in their lives where they hope to experience change. The collective goal is to envision realistic pathways towards living as our best self and to ask for and receive support in staying on our desired path.
Self Authorship – Participants practice telling stories about themselves that reflect who they are and who they want to become. Group members help one another to recognize where they have agency in their lives and how we all can increasingly act in ways that reflect our best selves.
Asking Great Questions – Participants are equipped with skills to engage in effective, intentional conversation. They learn to ask questions that are honest and open – that don’t evoke right or wrong answers. Group members practice asking questions that help others explore their personal beliefs and commitments and allows the group to better understand their practices, feelings and attitudes.
Attentive Listening – Deep listening is key to asking people questions that are born not out of our own curiosity or bias but out of our desire to help them better understand themselves. ETC Circles explore what it takes to be fully present in a way that allows us to hold each other and be held in a gentle, encouraging space.
What can I expect from the weekly ETC Circles?
Circles begin by learning where people are in their lives as they arrive to the group that day.
Time for Grounding
Each group begins with a grounding exercise that will help transition them from their past activity into a reflective space. Throughout the ten weeks groups practice different techniques that help members let go of what is currently unfolding in their day to be mindful in the present moment.
Each person is offered time to be the focus of the group’s attention. During this time they are able to share their current thoughts, feelings and experiences surrounding the matter they are exploring. The group then follows up by asking open, honest questions to encourage and deepen their reflection.
Good questions create doorways into new levels of understanding; they are invitations to travel where one has not been before and see things with new eyes.