Curating Content To Support Learning About Humanity's Transition

This content was posted on  1 Jul 20  by   The Circling Institute  on  Facebook Page
“Is it just me who struggles with listening?” When you come to

“Is it just me who struggles with listening?”

When you come to a Circling™ Method workshop for the first time, one of the first things you’ll notice is how difficult it is to hear another person’s perspective in a way that has THEM feel as if you completely get where they’re coming from.

This is a shocking realization for some people who previously considered themselves ‘good listeners’.

For others, it’s a relief to know that it’s not just them.

As it turns out, everyone struggles with listening and fully getting someone’s world.

The truth is, the conventional ways we’ve been taught to interact with people are designed for efficiency of communication and not deep connection.

And this is a GOOD thing.

If you’ve learned to be an efficient communicator who can summarize what someone else is saying quickly, without hesitation, and get your point across with as little friction as possible, you’re set up to succeed in the professional world.

Your communication skills need to ‘get the job done’ – especially when it comes to clients, colleagues, bosses and staff.

This points to the main difference between traditional ’communication’ versus deep connection.

The conventional way of communicating is all about making your point heard so you can move on to the next thing.

This is because the business world rewards people who don’t get bogged down in ‘talking about work’ and who can get things done.

However, our professional life is only one small part of a complex web of relationships in our digitally-connected daily lives.

In conversation with an intimate partner or close friend, trying to ‘summarize’ their perspective so you can ‘move on’ is a surefire way to hit your head against a relational wall.

The experience of consistently having your unique perspective go unacknowledged (or only partially acknowledged) is a recipe for long-term resentment – and it’s a hard knot to untangle without the right skills.

Even the closest relationships can erode slowly over time, when unchecked assumptions of who you are and what you think are left unquestioned, unspoken and unacknowledged.

The land of ‘Unchecked Assumptions’ is where relationships go to rot.

(I’m not exaggerating either. Take a moment to recall the last person who ‘assumed’ all over you. Maybe someone you lived or worked closely with who should know you better. How do you feel about the way they see you?)

Here’s why this matters:

Your unique point-of-view is perhaps the most valuable (and fragile) part of you.

It’s the one part of you that can’t be faked – and is also the most vulnerable to criticism and humiliation.

On the one hand, you’ve accumulated years of life experience, you’ve developed a nuanced and complex perspective on the world, and you have a unique one-of-a-kind life path that can never again be replicated or repeated in quite the same way.

To really ‘get your world’ takes some careful, deeply compassionate listening.

And on the other hand, you regularly encounter people who say:

“You shouldn’t be angry because __________”

“If you think your situation is bad, you should hear what happened to me once…”

“Have you tried thinking of it XYZ way instead of your way?”

The underlying communication here is pretty clear:

“You shouldn’t think that because… You shouldn’t feel that because… You shouldn’t have your perspective because…”

After 20 years of teaching The Circling™ Method, I’ve had the good fortune to witness the deep, transformational power of compassionate, attentive and skillful listening.

I’ve had the unique opportunity to lead over 6500 circles (which can last anywhere from 30min to 3 hours.)

What I’ve learned from observing and facilitating thousands of life-altering conversations is that we all have similar patterns of relating that can either help or hurt our ability to create deep connections with other human beings.

If you’ve ever felt your brain go into lockdown at the prospect of having those ‘crucial conversations’ (whether with an intimate partner, family member, client or colleague) you’re not alone.

Calm, compassionate listening is not something taught in school or university.

After being behind the scenes in thousands of conversations, I’ve isolated the 7 most important skills of deep, empathic listening & relating that can be learned by almost anyone, to any relationship.

I call them the 7 Stages of Circling™ Method – and any one of these ‘relational super-skills’ has the potential to be the difference that makes the difference in your most important relationships.

These relational skills are not reserved for the gifted or talented either.

They can be learned even if you’ve struggled with relationships for years – and even if you consider yourself ‘relationally challenged’.

Next month, we’re kicking off the Art of Circling Practitioner Training for 2020.

It’s a 9-month training program, designed to take you to the depths of the most potent and impactful relational skills that I’ve discovered after 20 years of doing this work.

The course will teach you how to relate in such a way that the normal ‘social defenses’ drop, and allow you to deeply connect over the experience of being a unique, individual human being.

This is not for the faint of heart.

These skills will not only be confronting to your old ways of relating to others, but they’ll change the very foundation of how you show up to any conversation, interaction and relationship.

From the feedback we’ve gotten from the past 3 years of the course, our Art of Circling graduates experience a life-altering change in all of their key relationships.


If you’re in a profession where your ability to listen, relate and empathize matters (consultants, managers and therapists are top of this list)

If you’re a consultant, entrepreneur or business-stakeholder (i.e. someone that relies on interactions with key people to pay the rent) you already know the value of communication – and the heavy cost of miscommunication.

Sharpening your ability to deeply listen & reflect to the unique needs of your clients or customers is an extremely uncommon skill in the age of brute-force sales & marketing.

Also, handling conflict skillfully and intelligently is one of those super-skills that can prevent the usual landmines of ‘mismanaged expectations’ that we all navigate day to day.

If you have some major personal relationship challenges you’d like to work through and resolve, and are ready to learn the skills to connect deeply with those closest to you, repair old wounds and break old patterns once and for all.

While conflict in your professional life can cause a lot of stress, heavy friction in your personal life can cause some of the deepest, existential pain that we can feel as humans.

And yet… most of us have had almost no training on how to handle these difficult situations.

The Circling™ Method is a complete ‘architecture of relational connection’ to help you process & work through the heavy emotional baggage that can accumulate in our relationships.

There are only 5 spots left, and they’re filling up fast.

Enrollment closes at the beginning of March 2020.

If you’re interested in applying for a spot in the course, make sure to let me know, so that I can save you a seat.

If you’re on the fence and want to know more, you can schedule a call with someone on our team and they’ll walk you through all the details.

Remember: the quality of your relationships is what ultimately determines whether your life is fulfilling or draining.

Relationships can be the source of our deepest pain and our greatest joy. These skills can be learned by anyone – and they are some of the rarest and most valuable skills in the world right now.

Wishing you deep and meaningful connections,

Guy Sengstock & the Circling™ Method Institute team

P.S. If you want to find out more details, check out the Art of Circling Practitioner Training info page to get the low-down.

You can get started by scheduling a call with us.

Email us directly at or leave a message here, and someone will reach out to you within 24 hours.


Workshops, coaching & advanced trainings for seekers and transformational coaches. Rocking out profound moments of connection — any time, with anyone.

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