June 4, 2016

4 Ways to use the circle technique

The circle technique is a very simple and effective progress-focused technique which can be applied in many situations. It is most frequently used in individual coaching and team facilitation sessions. The basic approach is as follows. First, you choose a theme or goal for which you want to use the circle technique. Second, in the inner circle you write down, on post it notes, what is already there. Third, in the outer circle you write down what is not yet there (also on post it notes). Fourth, you choose which note in the outer circle will be the first one you want to move to the inner circle and you think about how you will try to accomplish that.

Most progress-focused practitioners use the circle technique only for mapping which progress there already is and which progress further needs to be made. But the circle technique can just as well be used for other themes. In fact, the possibilities are practically endless. The nice thing is, because the method is so simple, that you can easily experiment with it. To help those interested get started I have created a few examples:


Of course, I'd be interested to learn about your experiments with the circle technique.

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