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Restorative Connection Circles

Restorative Connection Circles

Circles are a versatile restorative practice that can be used proactively, to develop relationships and build community or reactively, to respond to wrongdoing, conflicts and problems. Circles give people an opportunity to speak and listen to one another in an atmosphere of safety, respect and equality.

The circle has a wide variety of purposes: conflict resolution, healing, support, decision making, information exchange and relationship development.

Connection circles are a subset of the larger system of Restorative practices These practices adhere to a basic set of principles and values as expressed in the 5 R’s: Relationship, respect, responsibility, repair, and reintegration. Connection circles are a relationship building process used to promote understanding, share experiences, build relationships, and establish a circle practice.

Circle Guidelines

  • Listen and speak with respect: language—both verbal and nonverbal—can be quite powerful.
  • Respect everyone’s privacy—only tell your own story.
  • Share time fairly.
  • Please speak only when you have the talking piece.
  • As the facilitator, I may need to speak to move things along.
  • You may pass, but help us remember to come back to you.

Restorative circles are just one important element of Restorative Practices.  For more information regarding becoming a Restorative school and implementing Restorative Philosophy and Culture fully, please see The Conflict Center’s Restorative Practice Five Strategies and/or contact us for additional information.

When conflict happens in the workplace or people experience inappropriate or difficult behavior at work, relationships are damaged and productivity often suffers.
Workplaces that embrace Restorative Practices have the potential to create a safer, happier and more effective workplace for everyone. Restorative Practices can be used within the workplace both as a preventative measure and to address conflict when it does arise, enabling teams and individuals to work well together.

Restorative Practices can be an effective way to resolve workplace conflict. It involves:
  • bringing together all those affected by conflict
  • providing a safe environment for the expression of perspective
  • allowing participants to come to a shared understanding
  • identifying creative ways to deal with conflict
  • providing opportunities to rebuild damaged relationships and strengthen teams 

Restorative approaches can also be used proactively within the workplace to build strong, positive relationships. Staff meetings, for example, can be focused on building relationships and based around a foundation of mutual respect.
To discuss opportunities to bring this training to your workplace or to customize this training to your organizations needs, please contact Jessica Sherwood at Jessica.Sherwood@conflictcenter.org or call 303.865.5624.