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How does all of this relate to the Council Circles?

5th blog in the series

The previous 4 blogs described the world of the TEAL organizations, those organizations which represent the next phases of human interaction. Those that started developing in the last 20-30 years and are the future of human organization, if we have it our way :) So how does all this relate to the Council Circles? For me, these working methods and organizational paradigm that Laloux speaks of are both new and revolutionary but also ancient, familiar and natural. For me the council circle represent this thinking paradigm, an as archetype if you'd like, of what TEAM management is supposed to be. Council Circles are in themselves a very practical and useful social technology which brings to life the qualities which Laloux is refering to in the previous blogs.

All the principles and practices described here and in more detail in Lelau's book - actually express in a modern way, what the Way of Council is all about and the values it represent present:

We all have a place in the circle

We are all partners

We are all human

We are all responsible Together to what happens to us

We can find meaningful and effective ways to collaborate together.

When a group gathers into Council, there can be several goals for the meeting:

  • Supporting the group's well-being - to see how everyone is doing, and how everyone feels in our shared space

  • Collaboration and Progress - to share updates on progress and

  • Decision making - discuss a certain decision we want to make, in a way of partnership and cooperation

  • Creating connection - by sharing stories and collecting the wisdom of the circle

  • Creating a shared vision

  • Resolving Tensions and conflicts

Council supports these group needs and although the practice of the Council circle is simple on the one hand, it is also very complex on the other. It looks like we sit in a circle and speak in turn - which in itself has a lot of value. But it is more than that.

The 4 intentions of the heart - speaking from the heart, listening from the heart, lean speaking and spontaneity - allow a very special magic to happen:

  • Things that would not have been said, for example, find their way to the center of the circle.

  • Things that I normally wouldn't listen to and immediately dismiss out of hand, get to be heared

  • Creativity takes place through the intention of spontaneity

  • Lean Speaking protects us all in the most practical but also the most profound aspects.

In Laloux's terms, Council is the space where we hold trust, partnership and the desire to move forward together towards our goal. This space, when held correctly, brings out the inner voice of our collaboration.

Keeping an inclusive and safe space is both one of the biggest challenges for a group and the key to joint success. Many times people do not express a good idea because of the fear of making a mistake in front of everyone or the fear of hierarchy. Or, people can oppose an idea only because of what they think it symbolizes or because of what the person speaking it symbolizes for them, and not because they listened deeply to the wisdom embedded in it.

In the same way, listening to the objections that arise against my idea, many times will lead me to a journey of persuasion that will not allow me to hear the wisdom of these objections. Holding a common safe space, allows forward movement, with consideration of all voices, towards the common goal of all of us.


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