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Last year, I had the pleasure of participating in a Goddess Circle, which was also a Circle Dialogue. Since then, I have been a firm believer that this ancient practice is one of the best ways to create a safe space for meaningful conversations.
Therefore, when I met Ame-Lia Tamburrini, the founder and principal of Hum Consulting, who facilities and teaches about Circle Dialogue, I leapt into the opportunity to interview her for my podcast. For many years, Ame-Lia has been engaging with indigenous communities and corporations to discuss challenging and critical issues that are highly divisive in their communities. Hum Consulting was born out of that interest and aims to create more harmony, unity and momentum in communities, one conversation at a time.
I love it when she said, “Circle Dialogue is not just about forming a decision, but it is also about having experiences to feel more connected to one another.” This is exactly what we don’t get enough of these days!
There are many ways of using a Circle Dialogue. We can use it to be heard and to share, or for leadership development and growth, or for communities to use for reconciliation. The circle represents how we are all interconnected and to practice empathetic listening. We get to unmask ourselves or let go of the social expectations to just be ourselves and open our hearts.
When you sit in a circle, one of the guiding principles is that only one person can talk at a time. A talking stick or totem will be passed around in a circle and so everyone will get their turn, but until then, it is all about listening and holding the space in respect for the speaking person.
If you would like to connect with Ame-Lia Tamburrini or find out more about her work, please visit Hum Consulting.
- Depends on how we engage, we can end up becoming more divided or connected.
- How to turn a conversation around or avoid starting on the wrong foot
- Creating space and time for people to get beneath their positions. Think about what are the core needs to be addressed, e.g. to belong, to feel safe and to be seen. If there is no space in the conversation for that, people focus on their positions and we won’t get very far with that conversation.
- Three core principles
Intention – Setting our own Intention before stepping into the dialogue. What is that I want to create or contribute to?
Curiosity – It helps to open our hearts to create space to listen differently, instead of being full of anticipation or even shut down before going in.
Take Responsibility – Our life experiences are the result of our thoughts. We need to take responsibility for our thoughts and feelings.
- We all want to be liked, but we cannot control how others think of us or what they do, but we can choose how we are going to respond or react.
- Many indigenous communities use circles for ceremony, for governance, for celebration and restorative justice as well.
- Instead of asking What’s wrong with that person, ask what is his/her story?
- Blaming and shaming may be an easy way out, but it doesn’t solve the underlying problem.
- The many ways of using circle dialogue e.g. goddess circle – for women to be heard and to share, or for leadership and growth, or for communities to use for reconciliation.
- The circle represents how we are all interconnected and to practice empathetic listening. We get to unmask ourselves or let go of the social expectations to just be ourselves and open our hearts. It is a safe space especially for women.
- Other important use for a circle dialogue can be restorative justice for youth regarding bullying or for celebrations to deepen our inter-connectiveness.
- Dialogue circle is great for introvert because only one person can speak at one time with the talking piece passing around, so the person who speaks can really get heard and have the space for respect.
- Self-awareness and practice are key to a become a good circle dialogue host
Sze Wing (00:01):
Hi, everyone. I’m really, really excited to bring on a new guest today for our podcast, I have Ame-Lia Tamburrini, is it that I should have asked earlier? Well, she’s actually in British Columbia in Canada, I’m in Sydney. So we are connecting over different time zone, but actually it’s pretty easy, surprisingly. I’m really excited to interview her because we had a conversation before.And I really love what she’s doing here. I actually see some surprising alignment about what she’s doing and actually what I’ve been writing before in terms of the goddess circle work, which you will hear about how they connected, but obviously it’s all about juicy, meaningful, purposeful conversation. So first of all, I want to do a very short introduction about Ame-Lia. So well I would say, we’ve talked about this before, should I introduce you as a community dialogue, facilitator or consultant or so many things, and sometimes there’s no words can really describe, but briefly I know that you have over 13 years experience engaging with people in communities around the globe.
Sze Wing (01:26):
I know that you work with a lot of people to help them to get connected, have the conversation that it’s moving forward for positive outcomes and you have some principles you’re going to share with us about helping people to decrease indecisiveness, but increase the sense of interconnection all through the power of a dialogue, which it’s super important. Whether you look at it from a wider world view, or even in corporate business world, we talk a lot about having meaningful conversation and connect people. And I think communication skill is one of the really sought after skill in the 21st century in terms of future of work. But it’s easy to say communication, but what does it really mean and how to do it effectively? I think it’s really a critical conversation among many. So welcome to my show, Amelia!
Thank you so much. It is so great to be here. I so enjoyed our last conversation and I am excited to continue that dialogue here.
Sze Wing (02:32):
Great. So maybe first of all, I don’t know if we give enough justice in my introduction, but tell me a little bit about what you do and actually, how do you come into being in this unit position in terms of facilitating, encouraging and helping people in terms of having meaningful conversations?
So, yeah, I started consulting two years ago and it was on that those 13 years of engaging with communities around the globe on fairly contentious issues that work was done a lot with indigenous community, with all levels of government organizations, with project proponents and oil and gas and mining, lots of service providers in the community, all to understand how their wellbeing would be impacted by these fairly large land use development projects. So it was really divisive in the community, these sorts of big issues. And what I observed during that time with engaging with all these communities is that often the ways in which we engage, left people more divided and connected. And I really wanted to, when I was thinking about what do I want to do? Well, I really wanted to create experiences where people could not only inform a decision, but they would leave those experiences feeling more connected to one another.
And so that was really the underlying piece of why I started Hum (Consulting). I think connection is really important to me. I have a health background, I’m a kinesiologist and epidemiologist by training. And that work really taught me that connection is one of our core determinants of health and wellbeing. I think on a deeper level that my early childhood experiences from zero to 10, there was a lot of conflict in my family. And there were a lot of times where I felt scared to use my voice. And so it was really important to me. It has become really important to me that when I interact, I really do want to create that sense of deep connection. And I do want to create safe spaces for everybody to be heard.
Sze Wing (04:49):
I love it. And you know, you bring out something I would like to go a little bit deeper. When you talk about your 13 years experience connecting in communities, work with indigenous groups and talk about sometimes conversation can be challenging. Also, ywhen you start conversations, sometimes things actually go backwards because people couldn’t communicate properly. So that really it’s interesting. Like what do you do? Let’s say people make the first move and it wasn’t a good one. Sometimes critical issue needs to be discussed, but when we didn’t have a good first step, it could really sabotage the process. So how do you I’m just curious, how do you turn the ship around, like say it’s Titanic situation? How are we going to, miss it? Because obviously you, you were facing probably like very serious situation where it affects a lot of communities, but even between a husband and wife or friends, sometimes you started a uncomfortable or important conversation, but you just kind of on the wrong foot. So what do you do? How do you ride that wrong turn?
Yeah, that’s a great question. Well, there are so many ways in which you could approach that, but I think first of all, it was just creating space and time for people to get beneath their positions. So you can really start to get at what are the core needs here that need to be addressed, that aren’t being met and often that’s what comes up in couples, but definitely in community engagement too, is that people get really angry about things like parking spaces and having different people come into their community, but underneath that, there’s these core needs of needing to belong and safety and needing to be seen. And so if, if there’s no space in the conversation for that, and you’re just up here focused on people’s positions, you’re not going to get very far, you’re always going to be butting heads. So that that’s step one. I think some of the principles that maybe I’ll dive into later really get to like how do you step into those conversations in the first place. So there’s less chance of all of that happening.
Sze Wing (07:21):
Andso I’m in a situation where I can feel the person wasn’t really present there for conversation. She is here not to listen but to speak. So even if they it was the other side is talking, you can tell they are just waiting for the turn to speak. And that’s really tricky, which, as you said, maybe we can dive in that three principles because I know that you talked about the three core principles that you use to guide conversation and they moved to more collective action. So maybe you can go through theses principle. I know, obviously I can ask questions related to what we just talked about.
Yeah. I’d be happy to, well, I think what, where you were going sort of slips very nicely into this first one, which is, which is about our intention and this is really important. And I’m talking about setting our own intention before we step into the dialogue, because this really shapes everything. It shapes the language you use, it shapes how you show up and it shapes what you actually create at the end of the day. And it’s as simple as just pausing before you enter the room or before you start your video chat or however you’re communicating these days and ask yourself, well, what is my intention with this conversation? What is it that I want to create or contribute to? And often if we get really honest with ourselves, often we’re stepping into these conversations with the intention to persuade people or to convinced them or even to change them.
And all of that, that the underlying tension is to have control in this situation. And if we’re really going to connect with people, it’s helpful to, to set our intention for something else, to be able to understand, or to be able to relate to the person or simply that, you know what, at the end of this dialogue, I want to feel more connected to this person. And I’m going to go in with that intention and that shifts everything. Like you said, that there can be a lot of talking being done. And when you’re trying to relate and connect, you’re often doing a lot more listening than anything in those spaces.
Sze Wing (09:35):
You said it’s to do intention, right? So, but if my intention is to convince you that may be just slightly different, but we’re talking about making real connection here. And then the other two principals.
Yeah. The second one is curiosity. So when, especially when there’s tension in a conversation or you’re anticipating that we are really focused on protecting ourselves when we walk. And so we’re, you know, we’ve armed ourselves with data and information that we’re going to present or we do the opposite if we anticipate that we’re just going to be ambushed. When we step into a conversation, we might just shut down. And in both of those situations, we are not being curious at all. And the beauty of curiosity is that it really opens our heart. It create space for us to listen differently and to find those nuggets that we can relate to.
Sze Wing (10:41):
Okay. Now I got questioned immediately following up on that because, I often feel, I tend to be more open when I walk in, but sometimes in mid conversation suddenly you feel you have a sense that they don’t like you or they have something that they were not responding and they are pretty much against you. So there’s no matter how open and peaceful minded that you are, you feel down as this pressure coming up and that situation, I often find it hard to be curious because I feel I’m under attack. So I’m like trying to protect myself or save the situation sometimes. And then that often will block my curiosity or sometimes my impartial way of listening. So what do we do when you feel like that? So when you facilitate , it’s different, because you are facilitating, say two sides of multiple sides, but when you are like measuring what I just said, like, I felt someone already has something against me, so how do we move forward? What do we go in here in a mind?
Yeah. It’s easier said than done sometimes, especially in those personal relationships and family relationships in those dynamics. Yeah. I’m a very different person there that I am in a facilitated room. But it really comes back to this self-awareness and, and being able to take that pause, like give yourself permission to step back a second and say, okay, I’m feeling some things, you know, okay, what’s happening here. And if you can just like, take that deep breath and come back to your intention. I post my intention on a sticky note on my computer, or I have it in my notebook and I will read that and be like, all right, I’m supposed to be connecting here. How can I do that? And often it’s just asking, you know, what, what are the needs that this person is trying to communicate right now? It’s also good to check in with the truth. You mentioned you felt under attack and we don’t feel safe in those situations, but in most cases, I’m not going to speak to domestic violence cases and things like that. But in most cases, we’re not really under attack. It’s a perception. So just reminding ourselves, okay, I’m safe. It’s all good. And yes, it’s easier said than done. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of attention.
Sze Wing (13:23):
And obviously it could be just in our head in that sense that, oh, he or she is not buying while I said it doesn’t necessarily mean they really don’t like me, whatever I say. I mean, of course that could be that situation as well. But going back to, I think the third principle that you often do talk about it’s about taking responsibility. So how does it work in your own words, in a practical scenario, in a conversation, what does it really mean?
To take responsibility? Yeah, this is a big one. Taking responsibility is really about focusing more on ourselves than the other person. So it does relate to intention, like what do I want to create in this experience? But it also relates to the thoughts in our head, all the things you were just talking about. And we forgot, we have forgotten that our life experiences are a result of our thoughts. So our life experiences are result of our thoughts. And that is a really hard pill to swallow. I get that. But it’s a necessary one. And so what this can look like is if we’re sitting in circle dialogue, and I’m not immune to being triggered say when certain dialogues are happening, but when that happens, I need to take responsibility for my feelings. You know, nobody in that room has caused me to feel that way. This is just something, probably an old wound that is like being activated and and that it has really nothing to do with that, with that other person. So I think that’s really the big chunk of taking responsibility.
Sze Wing (15:10):
I think many wise teachers talked about how people think about you, it’s none of your business really, you cannot control it, but how you respond to it, that’s your karma. So if someone, it’s just bluntly don’t like you, there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s not necessarily your fault or your problem. And it could be triggering someone’s one in whichever ways that happens, but how we react to it. And I think that’s, that’s another form of responsibility that recognizing it and not to put it on ourselves or dwell on it. And I think that’s, it’s a big one. Because I think underneath all that we all want to be liked, right. So humans are social beings. We want to be in groups and tribes and, and we want to be liked and we want people to agree with us. That’s kind of like, and even they need to form connections. So, yeah you touched on the dialogue circles, so circle dialogue. Can you tell us a little bit more about what it is and what does it do? And you you’ve mentioned in our conversation before that different kinds or types, as in some of them are more for consensus or some are more for just bringing in information, can you tell us a bit more about this circle dialogue and, and also practical examples. So how do you come into knowing or using them?
Yeah, circle dialogue is a really special way of coming together and I’ve been working in the field for seven or eight years, or at least I was introduced to circle dialogue about seven years ago. But circle dialogue has been around for like hundreds and thousands of years. And it really started when people learned how to control fire. And you could imagine that once fire was created in that controlled way, that people started to gather around it. And then when that happened, language started to evolve and people were able to cook food and people felt a sense of safety because people gathered together in this one spot. And so that’s really the root of circle dialogue. And today I think our indigenous communities, they really are knowledge keepers of this practice and not all indigenous communities have circle in their processes.
But many of those communities tend to use circle for ceremony, for governance, for celebration, those sorts of things. So we can learn a lot from those communities when we implement a circle in today’s world circle is really used in so many different situations. Restorative justice is an area that circled dialogue has been present in for quite some time. And for those people who don’t know what the restorative justice is, or haven’t heard of it, it’s really an alternative to incarceration. And it’s a process that’s really focused on bringing the effected party and the responsible parties together and creating a space for dialogue that allows the responsible parties to take responsibility and collectively create actions that repair the harm caused. It’s a beautiful model and a beautiful alternative to putting someone in jail.
They must be in certain communities where, I can imagine the village, the elder sitting with the chiefs and say, this is what happens. You got to apologize at whatever to what’s that person that you harmed and, and then bringing some sort of justice into it. And that’s like really interesting. And so it’s still practiced today in some communities. I work here with restorative justice in Victoria and the police department, or the court refers cases over to them. And we resolve these sorts of situations in circle. The dialogue is really powerful. What I love about it’s just such a loving approach.
Sze Wing (19:39):
Okay. But how does it work? So someone does something that, or harm someone you bring into this circle and say, tell us all about that. So at what point then it’s like, okay, the circle has complete it’s forgiven, problem solved. I mean, how does it work? Where’s the end game?
Right. Well, it’s a process. And I think this is important to bring up about circle. Is that the most impactful ones you’re doing a lot of prep work before you step into that circle. You know, this is a really vulnerable space for people to be. There’s no barriers between us. We are physically sitting in circle, or we used to, we do this on, on online these days. And oftentimes there is quite a bit of work for people to learn how to take responsibility. It’s hard. I think we live in a world right now that is so set up to blame people for the problems in the world. We see that on all the social media streams, and we’re not accustomed to taking responsibility for things. So there is a lot of prep work in the beginning, both with the effective party and the responsible party.
And then when everyone feels like we’re at a good place, we will come together for that circle dialogue sort of the end game. I mean, yes, there are a set of agreements essentially that get made up and often these involve writing letters of apology or doing some meaningful volunteer work that actually gets at addressing the harm or doing counseling work or whatever that happens to be. And thenmentors work with the responsible party to make sure that those come to fruition. But at the end of the day, it’s just a way to view people as human beings. You know, often we, we look at criminals and we dehumanize them we locked them up. Like basically you put them aside and that’s not having a engaged conversation in a way to really resolve. Sometimes you just say, okay, you just sit over there in the naughty corner and let’s hope for the best.
Sze Wing (22:03):
It actually so true
I mean, I shouldn’t say less helpful advice. I’m sure within incarceration, there will be work to help the inmate and so forth. But the concept itself is very different because I guess the sheer amont of the resources and time and love have to put into such circle compared to, in in modern days, justice system is probably, you couldn’t cope with all that. But as you said, there’s a lot of wor to put in that, to really publically go into resolving or addressing the issue in the most effective and fundamental way.
Sze Wing (22:44):
I haven’t done too many restorative justice cases, but you know, at the root of crime is trauma. Some of these people have had the most horrific upbringings and there’s so much space for compassion and love. And what I love about restorative justice approach is that it takes that trauma informed lens and says, you’re a human being. I’m not going to ask what is wrong with you? I’m going to ask, what happened to you? Tell me your story, because we have to go there to really understand why, why someone is the way they are. And if I think if we did that more often in our society, we started asking, flipping that question too, like, what is wrong with you to really asking? I’m curious, why is this person showing up in this way?
Like I was dying for that question around Donald Trump, shows up in a certain way and was throwing vitriol his way and not asking the question, why is this person this way? What happened to this person in their upbringing? Because guaranteed, if we did that, we would be able to find something to relate to. And I think that’s a scary proposition for a lot of people. People don’t want to see that we have everything inside of us. We’ve got all the, all the quote and unquote bad stuff, and we have all the good stuff, quote and unquote. That’s part of this journey as well.
Sze Wing (24:15):
It’s really powerful. You bring up so many interesting things. And one of them, I do feel perhaps my sense is that sometimes we don’t want to go deeper and almost giving that space because sometimes we’re so angry. We didn’t have time. We are in denial because you know, to really open our heart, to, to give the person opportunity to say, so what happened instead of you are bad, like instead of doing the shaming and the blaming, which is so easy to feel good and that perhaps, but really do no good to no one. Right? And sometimes we justwanted to do that, but actually it doesn’t really resolve the problem. And in a way it’s a loving response that if I’m allowing myself to ask that question to open and to hear that to actually be vulnerable, to say, because maybe the story I’m going to hear is going to completely change my mind.
Sze Wing (25:15):
And sometimes we actually don’t want that because we just feel so comfortable in hating and this liking this person. So I felt that that could be a very powerful way to think about this. Why. And also when you talk about social media and I just immediately felt like,in the circle you got like an elder or with wise people or in a courtroom, you have a judge and you may have, you know, different councils, around social media we completely lose that structure. It’s everything goes, if you have very extreme view, you can just blab it over there. And there’s no control. That’s no care sometimes too, to put in into the parameters and it can be very dangerous space,and definitely not safe. We know that from all this news report about how bullying happen, or you just look at the news that you feel sometimes as such siding or opinion about a situation, and it’s even hard to view different things because otherwise your news logarithm actually had pinned you into one hand. Anyway, it is so frustrating. Right. So what’s your view on that? I mean, does it sometimes make you read like, oh my gosh, this is actually happening. It’s contrasting to what you do at work. Isn’t it?
It’s very contrasting. And for that reason, I spend no time on social media because I really do believe that where we put our attention is what we recreate and for me to absorb all the negative commentary and the blaming and that, that focuses my energy on it. And I’m not, I’m not interested in that because I want to create a world that has more love and more joy. And so I’m really just as much as possible focusing all my energies on creating those situations in my life. And so I don’t know if I have much to say on it. I do want to comment on what you were saying earlier in that it is the more courageous act to pause and say, what does this, what is in what this person has to say for me? And instead of just sticking in our positions, that’s a really safe and cowardly is a strong word, but it, it’s not a brave move. It’s much, much braver to be able to sit in the room and listen and be willing to be opened up. Like you said.
Sze Wing (28:03):
Yeah. Like vulnerability, it’s kind of the step one before you can be truly brave. I mean, it’s like, if you don’t jump off the fire, you can’t really test yourself. And, you know, the, one of the reason I like to bring up the circle dialogue is because I didn’t know before, but I was talking to you about in my work and I know other colleagues of mine are doing goddess circle, you know, how women love to sit around and talk and all that stuff, what it is for social reasons, that is also really nice to get space for us to be heard and share. So when you bring out the the power of the circle dialogue in like, in a way for me, it’s like, cause I just never thought, you know, I never imagined other men and other groups of people actually also doing it.
Sze Wing (28:54):
And because I’m so fixated on the people who do meditation or the ladies do the goddess circle, but actually many parts of the world practice this type of communication. And I mean, how powerful it is, we bring it to schools. We bring it to, you know, work a situation where encourages environment. I mean, and then as you said, where you put your attention to, it will grow and it will be a very powerful change for our society and, you know yeah. So do you, like, what else do you see and observed at circle dialogue? Or what do you have any ideas where we can bring in more of this type of tools?
Yeah I feel circled dialogue could be everywhere and it does exist in all those environments that you just mentioned, which is really exciting. Yeah, I mean the, the ways in which I’m using it right now, I can speak to that are really at that intersect between indigenous and non-indigenous community hosting conversations that really try to bridge those worldviews and help people to interconnect with one another. The circle, it represents a couple of other key principles. One is which we are all interconnected and that’s a core principle of so many indigenous communities. And it really is a core principle of physics science. Like if you really get into it and spirituality, and I love how it brings that to life. And so I’m finding a lot of hope by using this tool in reconciliation, which those conversations are complicated and there’s healing that is required. And there’s definitely a lot of empathetic listening that needs to happen. But when we can do that, we can create solutions. We can create this new world that we all want to live in. So that’s one way. I mean, I, I do host women’s leadership circles as well
Sze Wing (31:03):
It would be really impactful
Exactly. Just a space for people to take their masks off, to be able to shed some of those protective layers that I think as, especially as women leaders, we feel like we have to have to come across as strong to mentor people, to do all these things. And we still have all, you know, all of the human emotions underneath all of that. And sometimes we might feel like there’s not safe spaces for that to come out. And so I think it’s important as leaders that we create those spaces for ourselves to connect with ourselves and our hearts, but also hear the stories of other leaders so that we don’t feel so alone. And I think there’s so much power in that and strength.
Sze Wing (31:52):
Yeah. So you mentioned can use the circles for like opposite sides bridging different communities or disagreement or understanding each other. So that’s that purpose. And then we talk about the women leaders. I love it because I think it’s about discovery. Reflecting on who we are, what matters. So that’s a very different purpose. So is there anything else that you see we can use circle because I’m really intrigued about this approach many trainings for communocation is very two dimensional, maybe sometimes you have interactive practices applications, but often it is that there’s a teacher and the learner, there’s some interaction between this is different, but when it comes to a circle dialogue, I felt something more to it. And, and then you’re ready to talk about several, two different purposes. Is there anything else that we missed because I think it could be quite creative tool for people.
Yeah. Oh, there’s lots that I’ve missed. I think I’ll tell you. Okay. I, you know, youth use circles quite a bit, you brought up schools and I think that’s another important area which sort of relates to restorative justice. It could, in some ways when there’s like bullying attempts at schools, often circle is used. I won’t say often, sometimes circle is used to bring those groups together. It’d be folks that are bullying and those who are bullied to have conversation along with some other school members, some say community members to share in that dialogue and really do the healing work required. And it can be quite transformative. Totally. Yeah. I think celebration is an amazing way to use circle and of life ceremonies, birthdays, anything where you really want to deepen a sense of interconnectedness. And there’s something special that happens when people are given the space to speak from their heart. And circle allows for that. And one thing I especially love about circle is that it’s equally friendly for extroverts and introverts.
So often introverts, you know, it’s really hard to find their voice. I’m an introvert. I can speak on behalf of some of that group that when there’s just so much back and forth talking, going on, I often just check out because it’s really, it takes a lot of effort for me to jump in. And so in circle, you know, we’re often passing a talking piece and when that talking piece comes to you, you’re the knowledge keeper and you get to share, and everybody else’s listening to you intently with this intention to create a connection with you in some way. And then you pass the talking piece along. And so we hear from introverts, which, which can be such a magical thing. And then on the other hand, extroverts have told me that it’s quite refreshing for them to be able to just listen and not feel this need to respond or give advice or support because there’s none of that that goes on in circle either. It’s literally just listening and everybody wisdom teaches each other as they hear from one another.
Sze Wing (35:12):
Two things I actually want to ask before we run out of time. One is that I think we can hear the power of the circles and having this dialogue, but the facilitator will play a very important role. So how can we become one or a better one?
That’s a great question. There are trainings available, I did my more in-depth training through an organization called a circle of peace. That’s one way, there are so many organizations out there that offered trainings. I think what makes a decent circle dialogue host is self-awareness and being able to do our own work, to hold space for challenging conversations and not get too wrapped up in the energies that are being exchanged. Because like I said earlier, it’s not like that. I don’t get, not that my stuff doesn’t come up in circle when I’m hosting, but I do need a certain level of awareness, emotional intelligence. You could call it where I can check in with that. And then still show up to serve the circle, serve the dialogue in whatever way I need to. Kate Pranese is a longtime circle practitioner and she has a few books and resources online that people can find as well.
Sze Wing (37:02):
That’s what’s coming to me in this moment. Yeah. And I think, like she said, I think the self-awareness is important thing to bear in mind, but also I suppose, practice because sometimes you see yourself reacting perhaps in circles, when you got triggered somehow. And I think that again, give yourself opportunity to do this work. And sometimes there’s nothing beats this, isn’t it, some people are better to start with, or have that more training or read more books. But then there’s also that piece of self-awareness that sometimes just come with time and practice. And I think my last question for the two, like, you know, the buzz, what about engagement? Distaste go it everywhere. Whether it’s about businesses wanting to engage with the customers better or learners and the teachers, or all sorts of thing, but the engagement itself, like it seems like a holy grail to so many people. And I felt that you to me an expert in this, because the able to have this type of deep meaningful conversation to move forward, actually this is the whole point of engagement. What is moving someone to change your opinion, or to step up and speak up or to buy your product? It’s about moving forward with action. So what’s your tips advise or things that you would say on this subject?
I love this question because I think engagement is such an interesting word, and I know I’ve used it a lot today, and I know it’s plastered all over my website and it has a bad rap, the word engagement in a lot of the arenas that I find myself in, especially working with indigenous communities who for many, many decades have been quote, unquote engaged with in a way that is really perfunctory. It’s a checkbox style approach. You’re like, oh, I had the, I had the one conversation we’re done, we’ve engaged. And if you look up the word engagement there, it means nothing about cohesiveness building relationship or meaningful interaction. And it really sort of signifies as an adult. You know, you’re going to engage with or to be involved in or some kind of an arrangement. And so I think my first tip is to find another word that actually, that actually has the resonance of what you want to create.
And the one I’ve been playing around with is gathering or gathering together. And when you look up gathering, that’s all about assembling and taking in from scattered places and drawing together or toward oneself and understanding. And to me, that’s so exemplifies what we really want to do with it. Doesn’t matter if it’s our communities, our clients, our family, that’s what we want to create when we come together. Okay. So that’s, that’s step one, find another word. Secondly, my tip is really about thinking of all relationships, all gatherings as your intimate partner relationship. We spend a lot of time focusing on how to build an intimate partner relationship and relationships. If you think about it like that, there are stages that you go through. There’s that honeymoon period there’s then the now we’re getting real period. And maybe it’s a bit tumultuous and then there’s this maintenance period.
And if we could think of all our relationships in that way and sort of expect that to multipurpose period, and then expect that it’s going to change maybe in the maintenance period and understand that in that honeymoon period, when we first are making a connection with people, you know why the honeymoon period is so juicy. Yes. There’s hormones and whatnot going on, but you’re also, you’re having a ton of fun. You’re asking each other a lot of questions you’re getting really curious, and you are getting to know what’s important to them. You’re sharing stories and you’re finding your shared values and maybe you’re sharing food. Like these are the sorts of principles that we really want to think about when we’re getting together and building relationship with whomever. It happens to be, yeah.
Sze Wing (41:27):
I love that approach because I think about how so many online marketers talk about building your list, but are you less warm in your list, kind of just like putting static effort about writing newsletter and think about the way you talked about it. I love it because yeah, maybe an initial period, you want excitement get to know each other, but then you need to show up in consistent, you know, with consistency and sort of time. And to be something more personal, something deeper as you go, I mean, more than the honeymoon period, you don’t talk a lot about really deep-seated stuff yet, but I don’t know, if we trying to, you know, engage with our customers or people we want to,you know, have further work with that approach, I think it will be a lot more meaningful and substantial and long term.
Sze Wing (42:23):
And I think that’s important and it’s great example, it just gives so lots of food for thought. So I’m going to wrap this up and I think has been a really cool conversation and really got me thinking, you know, rather than just on a hamster wheel and doing things engagement and communicate, you know, but what are we really doing and what is the real purpose? So thank you so much for coming on to the podcast. And if people want to, you know, learn more about what you do, your work and, and all that great stuff where they can find you,
My website is the place to go. I’m at hum consulting.ca and on there, people can sign up for my monthly newsletter where I’m coming into your inbox once a month, just to give you tips and tricks, to have these connecting conversations, and also act as your cheerleader because this work is courageous. And often as leaders, especially change-makers, it can be a lonely feeling world. And I want you to know that I am right there beside
Sze Wing (43:35):
I think you touched on a really important point. It’s like not only lonely and strange sometimes, but sometimes you feel like, am I doing it right? And am I good enough? Or am I heading the right direction? I think sometimes as a thought leader, it’s healthy to a certain dose of that because you kind of really to reflect and re-examine, but then sometimes it can feel a little bit vulnerable and it will be really helpful to, as you say, cheerleader. And I know tha you also in website offer that more information about the three principles that we cover. So that could be really good for people to check it out. Last question, actually is hum consulting to do with hummingbird because I do see the bird as a background somewhere.
It is. So hum came to me yeah. Through a beautiful friend, but like there is harmony, unity and momentum, and that’s what I’m aiming to create, but the hummingbird it’s, it is my spirit animal. It is my grandmother is what, who comes to me every time I see a hummingbird, but what I love about the hummingbird is that high vibe energy that it has. And for me, that’s why I’m here. I want to create more love and joy that high vibration. And so having bird just seemed like the perfect symbol for what I want to create.
Sze Wing (45:00):
Great. Okay. Thank you so much. And for all the listener or whomever may watch this video and check out the website. We’ll put the link down below at the details and it was been lovely talking to you. Thank you so much. Thank you.