Restorative Circles: what are they?
‘Restorative’ stands for finding a new balance after having a conflict. ‘Circles’ stand for a dialogue in which you are really heard and where you really listen. Restorative circles help people involved in a conflict to rediscover their common humanity.
Usually, it is not difficult to recognize one’s common humanity when there is no conflict. However, as a conflict escalates, the other person may appear to be a monster. When they are not receptive to each other any more, people can get stuck in a conflict. That is why they cannot find an adequate answer to the situation, and vice versa.
In a restorative circle, all those directly involved are invited to participate. By allowing everybody to both speak and be heard, a space ensues which fosters understanding and enables exploring what needs to be done to move forwards.
The qualities of this approach have been demonstrated over and over. Dialogue in the restorative circle leads to more clarity about the underlying aspects of the conflict and provides more space to search for solutions together, leading to lower conflict costs and improved relations. However, courage is needed to take the first steps. If you are right in the middle of a conflict, it can be difficult to imagine that there is a way out without a long and painful fight. And that it may not be necessary to defend your own position to the bitter end. The distance to the other protagonist may seem a thousand kilometres (/miles), preventing you from starting the journey. But if you do take a first step, you may be surprised how short the distance can be... (READ MORE under Restorative Circles, here you will find a video animation on the Restorative Circle process)
The Foundation Restorative Circles aspires to show you how to find that shorter road, away from the conflict, restoring the dynamics of relating to each other. For this purpose, we founded Herstelcikels.nl. We have the knowledge and experience to allow you to experience how conflicts can be dealt with in a different manner. We would like to let you discover this in a safe environment. We can also introduce you to the facilitation of restorative circles. We will gladly come to your community, business, organisation, school or sport club, in order to examine together how you currently deal with conflicts and how that might be improved. (READ MORE under Who Are We)