For some of us how difficult it is to take a leap of faith, jumping into the world of the unknown – possibly the path less travelled. For others, well we have an undying belief that once we have leapt, we will land, so let’s just leap and see what happens.

Luckily, or foolishly, for me, I leap and have that faith that I may not land where I planned but I will land all the same. But I appreciate that those more cautious than I will need some support; a safety net, before they will dangle a toe over the edge.

So how did I take people on that first leap into the unknown world of Community Circles?

  1. I used non jargonistic language. I worked hard to break down terms people did not understand and to make those into terms they did. If people can get their heads around what you mean by a ‘Community Circle’. Put simply, a Circle being a way to connect people to the things that matter, to others and their community, then terminology barriers move aside for you to tackle the runway together.
  2. I talked with our cautionary person about the process. I produced a guide to Circles in extra care which clearly demonstrated how I would support the setting. It also detailed how the setting could support Circles to begin and flourish. This was shared and reviewed with them.
  3. I took time to nurture our managers – they will filter down your information to their teams, encouraging them to come on the Circles journey with you. I booked regular sessions with managers, offering as much support as they needed to start Circles that made a real difference to the people they cared for in settings. This did indeed filter to their care staff – one organisation has embedded the principles of Circles into their daily processes and recruitment process too.
  4. I am a storyteller. Share your stories of what a Circle really looks like. Think of your favourite story from childhood, a story of overcoming adversity, of a hero or heroine and of the victorious ending. I talk of Circles in this way. Our Circle person is our hero, I guess as a Connector I am the noble steed, or the map reader, guiding our hero to where they want to be, and victory is there for us to seek and find, in this I have an undying belief.

So now are ready to leap together. Next you must learn to climb…