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Participants: 

Open to all Courage to Lead alumni. This is an opt-­in program that will run for 9 months – from April through December 2020. By opting in, alumni are committing to engaged participation and making the Leader Circle a high priority over this 9­‐month period. To participate, you must let us know of your interest by April 3, 2020 by registering here. If you are in a Leader Circle that is continuing from the past, you do not need to register. Just continue with your current leader circle, switching to an online platform such as Zoom , Google Hangouts or conference call for this time of physical distancing. You can also opt to change circles if you wish by going to the registration form.

Meetings/Calls:

The Leader Circles will meet once each month between April and December using an online platform such as Google hangout or Zoom or on the phone. Each session will run for two hours or less. If social time is planned, that should be scheduled either before or after the two-­‐hour Leader Circle session.

Leader Circles using online meeting technology or conference call have had a very successful experience. Learning to use the technology is important. Below is a list of best practices. Your Leader Circle will need to coordinate which platform to use. If using Zoom, someone will need an account. If you need any technical assistance or help setting up a Zoom account, please contact Sarah Harris.

Structure:  

The core idea of the Leader Circle design is peer coaching. Leader Circles will meet monthly initially via Zoom/on the phone for the next 9 months. Each participant is invited to bring a question, challenge, or priority to the circle, where they will each receive 15 minutes of focused support by the others around this issue.

The Circle supports you based on your request of one of 3 options: open honest questions, brainstorming, or sharing of stories related to the issue. Each 2-hour circle begins with a time for reconnection and checking-in, and closes with a time for sharing into the circle gratitudes, affirmations, and reflections on the process. The goal is for each participant to leave each session with tangible and actionable benefit, in addition to reconnecting with Courage community and practices.

Preparation:

As noted above, in advance of each session, participants should note their issue, challenge, or priority for the session on the top half of their Monthly Session Participant Form (a sample of which can be found at the end of this document). Also, make sure you can be in a location with a good internet connection and arrive to the call early to make sure you have time to trouble shoot any technology issues.

You should also come with a plan for how you want to get support from your fellow circle members, choosing from one or more of the following:

    • Open Honest Questions – helps you tap into your own resourcefulness and gain clarity.
    • Resource Sharing – helps you discover other resources to support you in expanding your possibilities. Sharing resources typically takes the form of either brainstorming or the sharing of teaching stories. Brainstorming – helps the presenter surface other ideas and approaches, without judgment. Sharing teaching stories helps the presenter hear the wisdom of others who have experience in similar situations.  Sharing resources also gives us a chance to share specific resources that might be helpful.

Tips:

◊ LEADER CIRCLE participants have found it helpful to send out their issue or goal ahead of time so that other members of the group can be considering it before hand.

◊ At each LEADER CIRCLE, presenters can specify whether they would welcome follow-­up communications regarding their issue such as further resource sharing.

◊ Following the LEADER CIRCLE, some groups have set up a Google folder for sharing third things, information, and resources.  You can also email to each other.

Make sure you can be in a location with a good internet connection and arrive to the call early to make sure you have time to trouble shoot any technology issues.  

Facilitation:

All Leader Circle participants will be trained to facilitate a session. Everyone in the group takes responsibility for making the Leader Circle work as intended, but each month one participant will volunteer to be the Facilitator for that session. The Facilitator responsibility includes:

    • Reminding participants of the time, day and link/connection information for the upcoming Leader Circle.
    • Read through best practices for hosting an online meeting  ahead of time.
    • Initiating the 2‐hour Leader Circle session, and keeping it running on time.
    • Making sure the group has a time, date and venue (or conference call number) for the next session before they leave the current one.
    • Communicating with Kim for any support needed.
    • Provide a brief overview of the technology:
      • Arrive early. The organizers will show up 15 minutes early, and we encourage everyone to show up 5-15 minutes early so that we can work out any tech issues.
      • As best as possible, finding a place to sit where you won’t be interrupted
      • Show up as fully as if you were in person with us! Don’t multi-task. Give your full presence to the program and to your fellow participants
      • Please mute your audio when you aren’t speaking. This will help us hear whoever is speaking and limit background noise.
      • Have your video on, and consider the lighting in your space. Set up your space so people can see your face.
      • If you have them available, you might want to use headphones or earbuds to cancel out external noice and hear more clearly

Tips:

◊ Some participants send out a poem or reading in advance when it is their turn to facilitate. They then use the poem or reading to start the meeting and help people become present.  Participants have commented that this helps them be more prepared for the LEADER CIRCLE session.

◊ Use Doodle  http://doodle.com for help with scheduling as needed.

FORMS:

Leader Circle Prep Form

Leader Circle Debrief Form

Sample Leader Circle Agenda

Resource Sharing

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