Empowerment Circles
Facilitator Reference Page

Facilitator Guide Sheet


Please follow this guide whilst facilitating Empowerment Circles, Please use each point as a prompt, being sure to cover every point unless it is listed as optional. 


  1. Introduce yourself using your first name. (Last name optional) State that you are the facilitator for this circle.
  2. Format: Read out the format below
    • Total sharing time is 15 minutes for each person that includes both sharing and feedback. It is recommended to share for no more than 10 minutes to allow at least 5 minutes for feedback. If your share is less than 10 minutes there is more time for feedback.
    • Finish Sharing by stating “I am complete,” or something equally as clear.
    • Stay muted on your microphone unless speaking.
    • Limit Projection: Please focus on the person sharing and where they are at. Do not share personal stories or opinions unless it clearly is of service to the sharer.
    • Feedback: please provide feedback to the best of your ability, offering insight, wisdom, referral to resources. Validation and empathy are always encouraged as is honesty that helps clarify and empower.
    • Empowerment Circles Training: If there anyone who is doing the Empowerment Circles Training, please tell me what module you are on in the chat window.
    • (Optional) Dial In: I suggest you know your Zoom dial in number in case you get disconnected. (Tell them the meeting number in case they have to dial in. Post it and this link: https://zoom.us/zoomconference )
    • (Optional) Dress Code: If you feel it’s important, mention that people need to have clothing on when on video. You can also private message people who may be distracting others with nudity, partial nudity or other attention seeking behaviour.
  3. (Optional) 
    • Theme: If the circle has a theme state what it is.
    • Additional Guidelines/Rules: List any extra guidelines/rules you wish to personally institute. See Appendix 1 below.

Sharing and Feedback


  1. Notes: 
    • Make a note for yourself of anyone who is doing the Empowerment Circles Training. Record which module they are on.
  2. Invite someone to share. If no one self nominates, start sharing yourself or invite someone to begin.
      • a.b If someone is on the first Empowerment Circles training module, tell them that they will not be required to share first.
    • Mute everyone who is not sharing (including yourself).
    • If someone is on the training modules, cut and paste the sharing and feedback guide for their module into the chat window.
  3. Time Keeping:
    • If sharing goes for 7 to 8 minutes, interrupt the share with as few words as possible stating how long is left. For example: “2 minutes sharing left”
    • If sharing goes over 9 mins 30 seconds, interrupt saying, “we’re almost over time, please wrap it up”
    • If sharing goes over 10 mins, interrupt as soon as the sharer finishes the next sentence and tell them that you’re out of time.


  1. Time Keeping (1): Let people know immediately how much time is left for feedback.
  2. Inviting Feedback: As soon as sharing is complete, invite feedback. Ask if anyone wishes to give verbal feedback. If you are typing your feedback, let everyone know so that possible silence is explained.
    • For sharers doing the training, remind those giving feedback to limit their feedback to the format in the sharing and feedback guide. Post the relevant section in the chat window as often as needed.
    • If you like, remind the sharer that they can ask for a particular type of feedback if they wish.
    • If the sharing was particularly raw, suggest that the sharer may ask feedback to be limited to certain styles such as validation and/or support.
    • If people wish to ask questions, please limit them to clarifying questions. For example: “Did you say “gate” or “bait” or “gator-bait?””
  3. Time Keeping (2): If time begins to run out, remind people to wrap up their feedback. Suggest that if there is more it can be revisited in Post Circle Discussion.
  4. Responding/Questioning: Do not allow responding to one another or asking general questions until everyone has given feedback. If everyone has given feedback, ask if anyone has questions or if the sharer wished to say anything further.
    • If time is short and there is more to discuss, make a note of it and suggest that it is covered in Post Circle Discussion
  5. Saving Feedback: Suggest to the sharer who has just received feedback that they save the feedback in document or by emailing it to themselves.
       a. Phone & Dial In Users: If someone is using their phone for the circle through the app or has dialled in, offer to email them the feedback. Suggest they private message their email address to you if they do not want to share it with others.
  6. Next Person: Invite the next person to share.
  7. Completed Circle: When everyone has shared post items from the Post Circle Discussion below, either one at a time or as many as can fit into the chat.
    • Noted Items: When you reach the section on Noted Items, refer to your own notes to address anything that needed to be brought up in Post Circle Discussion
    • Prompting: Prompt people to talk on various points of Post Circle Discussion, especially the Gratitude section. If the discussion is slow, offer your own points of discussion and then invite others to do the same.
  8. Final Points: Before closing the Circle ask people if they have any questions or comments. Then remind them of when the next time this particular circle is happening.


This may be posted in two sections as it does not all fit on the Zoom chat.

TAKEAWAY: What is your biggest takeaway from this Empowerment Circle? What do you see as the most valuable aspect of the feedback you received?

COMMITMENT: What if anything would you like to commit to as a result of this Empowerment Circle?

VALUABLE SHARE: What in someone else’s share did you find valuable? What could you relate to most of all? What realizations did their share offer for you? 

VALUABLE FEEDBACK: Of all the feedback offered to your or others what was the most valuable and how was it valuable to you?

NOTED ITEMS: What if anything did you want to discuss that we did not have time for during the Sharing and Feedback section?

NOTED WINS: What stood out for you as a real win for yourself or someone else? What would you like to celebrate and encourage people to elaborate on in the group circle?

CHALLENGES: Are there challenges that you would like to offer others or a challenge for yourself that you can voice out loud to others. The recipient can accept, reject or modify the challenge.

GRATITUDE: What did you feel the most grateful for in shares, feedback or any other discussion that you feel grateful for. (NOTE: It can be very expansive for you to share on something you are grateful for in every session.)


*Note: During Post Circle Discussion, keep coming back to these prompts and prompting people if there is silence or if someone is dominating too much.



When closing the session, either to go into “Big Circles” (mentioned below) or to close the session, ask people if they have comments or questions before you close the circle. Remind people of when the next time this particular circle is running and close the session. Consider Ending the Meeting for yourself and leaving others to talk if they wish.

If you leave people in the meeting room, let them know that the room may close without notice if another circle is going to be starting.

Future Expansion
Note: as of 5th March 2019 – This document will be expanded in the near future to include Break Out Rooms and coming back into the bigger group of people for “Big Circles”.





The culture of Empowerment Circles is not limited to only the format that we follow during the actual Empowerment Circles. It is important that you bring your own personal preferences to Empowerment Circles according to how you would like to facilitate them. As long as the format is followed and we do not attempt to tell people what they should or should not do or believe simply because we are a facilitator, we can add our own parameters to the circles that we facilitate.

Incorporating personal preferences and style into Empowerment Circles can help you to make it your own and may give rise to innovations and improvement to the entire method over time.

Possible Additional Guidelines

  • “no profanity”
  • “please limit profanity”
  • “feel free to comment in the chat window if you feel someone is projecting”
  • “unmute yourself when you wish as long as you don’t interrupt sharing itself”
  • “do not unmute yourself, put your hand up and I will unmute you”


*Note: This list is not exhaustive and we would appreciate you letting us know of your own items that might be added here



Do not wait around for people to solve their technical issues. Keep the circle moving.

If someone drops out whilst they are sharing, give them at most a minute to return. If they do not, move on to the next person. When/if the sharer that dropped out returns, invite that person to continue their share next after the current person is done and has received feedback.



Consider suggesting that participants might share on social media. Remind them that it is important to share only about your own experience, unless you have explicit permission from others involved.  Are there aspects of your personal experience in Empowerment Circles that you might share, without mentioning anyone else, on social media such as in the Empowerment Circles Facebook group or your own Facebook wall, Instagram or elsewhere.

For example, if you had someone validate a major win you had but did not recognise or congratulate yourself for, you can celebrate it by sharing on social media but without mentioning who pointed out the win. If you want to celebrate and be grateful to the person that pointed out the personal win, you must ask their permission to mention them by name.



Time Limits: Remind people of time limits, don’t ever be shy about it but limit it to one or two reminders unless really important.

Early Finish: If sharing and feedback are completed early, ask sharers if they are ok to move on early before you end their sharing time before the 15 minutes is up.

Dropouts: If someone drops out during their share, give it a minute or two and cover a few things that might need addressing or mentioning. If you have their email address send them this link: https://zoom.us/zoomconference and include the Zoom ID which you can find by mousing over the top part of the Zoom window. It shows up when you move the mouse over it. If they are not back within two minutes, move on to the next person. When they come back on, message them publicly stating you will come back to them after the current share and feedback.

Sharing and Feedback Guide for Empowerment Circles Training Course

For participants doing the Empowerment Circles Training, please cut and paste these Questions and Feedback guides into the chat window in Zoom according the session they are on.



In your first share you will address these five questions/discussion points:

  1. Your first name or what you would like people to call you.
  2. What really inspires you?
  3. Describe a challenge you had in the past.
  4. How did you overcome that challenge?
  5. State when you are complete.


When providing feedback to someone after their first share it will be quite structured. Please give feedback on:

  1. How you would like to welcome the sharer to Empowerment Circles
  2. What you found admirable about the sharer and their sharing.
  3. What inspired you about the challenge they described and how they overcame it.
  4. State when you are complete with your feedback.


In your second share please cover these points/questions:

  1. Your first name or what you would like people to call you.
  2. Describe something about your perfect average day.
  3. What does your life and the way you live it state about your values?
  4. Was there anything that was unexpected about what your values turned out to be.
  5. State when you are complete.


When providing feedback to someone after their second share please cover these points/questions:

  1. What you found most interesting about their values.

  2. What about their values felt the truest to you. Which values seemed to be the most congruent when they shared about them.

  3. Anything that they seemed to reveal about themselves that could be valuable to others in some way and in what way that might be valuable.

  4. State when you are complete.




In your third share please cover these points/questions:

  1. Your first name or what you would like people to call you.
  2. What lofty goals came to mind in relation to your values?
  3. What felt the most energising about these goals?
  4. What action steps came to mind that you could take?
  5. Did you take any of those action steps? If so, what happened? If not, was there anything in particular that held you back?
  6. State when you are complete.


When giving feedback to people on their third share please focus on:

  1. What resonated with you the most strongly about their values and their goals.
  2. What you perceived they felt the most energised about.
    3. Take a guess at some action steps that could be helpful. State “My guess about good action steps is…” and then follow up with a few things that come to mind.
  3. Finish your feedback by affirming, “keep what helps, discard the rest.”
  4. State when you are complete.


In your fourth share please cover these points/questions:

  1. Your first name or what you would like people to call you.

  2. Describe some times when supportive and/or encouraging feedback would have assisted you in the past.

  3. How would it have helped you? What type of feedback might have been the most helpful in these instances?

  4. Describe any aspirations and/or challenges you might have right now and what type of feedback you suspect could be most helpful at the moment.
    Note: After you have received feedback from everyone you may choose to state any challenges or feedback you are taking on.

  5. State when you are complete.


When giving feedback to people on their fourth share please focus on:

  1. What resonated with you the most strongly about times in the past when feedback could have been of the greatest assistance.
  2. State that your feedback is aimed to assist them and also to identify the style you are using and that you are practicing with it.
  3. Describe how you perceive their current aspirations and/or challenges and pick a feedback style in which to offer feedback that you believe will be most beneficial. Name the feedback style and give feedback as best you can in that style.
  4. If you wish to give feedback in one or more styles, indicate when you switch styles and give feedback as best you can in that style.
  5. Finish your feedback by affirming, “keep what helps, discard the rest.”
  6. State when you are complete.


In your fifth share please cover these points/questions:

  1. Your first name or what you would like people to call you.
  2. What feelings and sensations came up most commonly and strongly? Were there any clear indications/messages from them?
  3. How would you most like to expand your life?
  4. What are you most fascinated by? What are you an expert on?
  5. What are you most grateful for?
  6. What Bold Goals would you like to share with the group so you can refine them further with feedback? What sort of feedback might be the most helpful?
  7. State when you are complete.


When giving feedback to people on their fifth share please focus on:

  1. What if anything resonated with you about the sharers feelings and sensations, sense of expansion and what they might be fascinated with or an expert in?
  2. Did the sharers Bold Goals feel authentic to you?
  3. Give feedback as you see fit, trusting yourself that you can help the sharer refine their goals and tune into them better. Use the Feedback Styles chart to help if you would like.
  4. At the end of your feedback do your best to summarize your feedback and refine it to be of as much service as possible to the sharer.
  5. Finish your feedback by affirming, “keep what helps, discard the rest.”
  6. State when you are complete.


In your sixth share please cover these points/questions:

  1. Your first name or what you would like people to call you.
  2. Relay or read out your statement of your vision and what you want for your life according to the notes you took.
  3. Describe anything that feels daunting or overwhelming in your vision.
  4. What tasks seem to be the most obvious to undertake.
  5. What challenges you about your vision in a way that makes you feel really alive?
  6. What level of commitment do you have to your vision and how could Empowerment Circles best support and encourage you?
  7. State when you are complete.


When giving feedback to people on their sixth share please focus on:

  1. What inspires you most about their vision?
  2. What visions came to you about their vision? What felt the most real to you? What did you see them doing when you heard their share and what if any details accompanied it?
  3. What skills or resources do you believe they will need?
  4. Do their initial tasks sound like a good idea? Are they expecting too much too soon? Are they selling themselves short?
  5. If you feel inspired for them, what way would you love to support and encourage them?
  6. State when you are complete.

Quality Control - Issue Responses

Below is a list of issues that may arise during facilitation of Empowerment Circles. You may handle these issues how you wish, what is below is what is suggested as a general format. Ultimately any circle that you facilitate is your circle to do with as you please as long as you maintain the basic format, keeping time limits, feedback method and that you limit projection.


First Response

(Boundary Reminder)

Second Response

(Boundary Clarification)

Third Response


Fourth Response

(Boundary Enforcement)

Interruptions - Someone Unmutes Themselves and Interrupts sharing time.

State to the person and the group that the sharing time is for listening only and mute the interrupting person.

State that the person is disrespecting the group and everyone in it. Mute them again.

Warn the person that if they continue to disrespect everyone in the group, you will remove them from the circle.

Remove them.

Be absolutely certain to email a brief description of what occurred to peter@genuineyouniversity.com

Projection – Someone tries to tell someone else how to live their lives or how they should feel or they generally try to guilt trip or manipulate someone.

Suggest to the person that it sounds like projection and that everyone makes their own choices and their consequences are theirs because it’s their life.

State that projection should be limited as much as possible.

Ask others in the circle to comment on whether they think the person in question is projecting. Use the general perception to influence whether you then warn the person or correct yourself. Be clear that the decision is yours to make.

If necessary, inform everyone that you are choosing as the facilitator to remove the person who is repeatedly projecting, then remove that person.


Be absolutely certain to email a brief description of what occurred to peter@genuineyouniversity.com

Format Erosion – Someone suggests small changes in the format and continually tries to change the method to suit them. They may also try to enrol others in some sort of power game over the facilitator.

Remind the person that you will abide by time limits, sharing format and feedback method because it works and produces results.

Remind the person that making small continual changes to the method stops it working and everyone loses out that way.

Warn the person that the method is flexible but the basic tenets are not negotiable. Further suggestions to change it may result in removal from this group and/or Empowerment Circles altogether.

Remove them.

Be absolutely certain to email a brief description of what occurred to peter@genuineyouniversity.com

Nagging – Someone continually goads another participant into doing something in particular over many sessions without altering it or explaining or enhancing it.

State that their feedback has been repeated and that it is the sharer’s choice as to whether they take it on or not. Advise that the nagger lets go of their attachment to others doing what they think they should.

Advise the nagger that if their feedback does not evolve considerably or cease that you will mute them if it continues.

If the nagger persists, perhaps by typing the same nagging feedback into the chat window or any other subtle or covert way advise them that they will be removed if it happens again. This is their warning.

If they continue, do not warn them again, advise that they have been warned, then remove them.

Be absolutely certain to email a brief description of what occurred to peter@genuineyouniversity.com

Deep Issues – Someone brings issues to the circle that require a skilled therapist or other professional assistance.

Let them share unless their sharing is pornographic, meaning that it involves extreme abuse whether sexual or otherwise. When their share is complete do not invite feedback, instead advise that their challenges are beyond the purview of Empowerment Circles and ask people to offer feedback that is limited to expression of compassion for their challenges and what type of external assistance they might seek.

Advise the person that you have to limit feedback on their issues and further interaction because we cannot be responsible for poor advice with serious issues. Wish them all the best and remind them of possible resources that may already have been offered.

Apologise that Empowerment Circles is not designed or intended to assist them and suggest they might later use Empowerment Circles as an adjunct to professional help or suggest that they ask for a refund of their last month’s fees.

Inform them that you are sorry but you have no choice to remove them. Then remove them.

Be absolutely certain to email a brief description of what occurred to peter@genuineyouniversity.com

Breach of Confidentiality – Someone indicates that they have told others outside of their immediate Empowerment Circle about someone else’s share, challenges etc

Warn the person that confidentiality is assumed and that telling other people about anyone else in the circle is a breach of trust.

Be clear that breaching confidentiality erodes trust and that Empowerment Circles rely on trust to be effective. Suggest that consequences for breaches can be severe.

Tell them that this is their final warning and that you are informing GU administration so that they are aware. Send an email to peter@genuineyouniversity.com with a brief description.

If the person argues this point, move straight to the next Fourth Response.

Remove the person and if you wish inform them that such a removal means being banned from all Empowerment Circles permanently, or let management tell them this.


Be absolutely certain to email a brief description of what occurred to peter@genuineyouniversity.com

Triggered – If someone reacts and starts projecting and/or attacking others.

Suggest that the person is triggered and is reacting without much forethought.

(NOTE: You may need to progress through the Responses more quickly depending on how triggered the person is.)

Tell the person that they need to conduct themselves in a respectful manner or you might need to take steps to ensure they do not attack or project onto others.

Tell the person that they should refrain from comments and sharing if they have not shared yet, invite them to leave the group at this time if you wish.

Remove them. Be absolutely certain to email a brief description of what occurred to peter@genuineyouniversity.com

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