A group of participants sit in a circle.

The Lead Circle Keeper welcomes everyone and opens the Circle with a brief reading.

A “Talking Piece” is then selected—it could be a stone, carved object, small toy, or other meaningful object—and passed from one member of the Circle to the person beside them. Circle participants may talk only when they are holding the talking piece, while the rest of the Circle listens attentively. 

The Lead Keeper facilitates the discussion by asking a question and passing the Talking Piece around the Circle. Participants take turns listening to one another and sharing their own perspectives and experiences. The Talking piece will make its way around the Circle several times. Each time that the Talking Piece makes its way back to the Lead Keeper, he or she will guide the discussion by summarizing what was said in previous rounds and posing questions that enable participants to explore particular issues, discuss options, or develop plans for the future. 

The Circle concludes with an opportunity to share final thoughts, a summary by the Lead Keeper of what was discussed, and an agreement by all members about any next steps to be taken.

A final reading closes the Circle.