I was just selected to fill a circle facilitator role! Now what? [Draft]

Welcome to the world of filling a circle facilitator role!

As filler of a circle facilitator role, you help meetings run with equivalence and efficacy. You help make possible our principles of #community-led, #co-creative, and #equity-centered as well as our values of #lead-with-love, #embrace-emergence, and #own-our-impact. Your exact responsibilities:

“[Insert responsibilities here]”

—[Insert link to Policies and Procedures Document explaining responsibilites here])


We (your fellow circle facilitators past and present) have found that the following information super helpful. Read on, enjoy, and circle back with your own contributions to this guide!

The First 30 Days

  1. Request access to

    • [Create Circle Facilitator group on Discourse]. As part of this Discourse group, you become a forum leader. Read Understanding Discourse Trust Levels “Trust Level 4 - Leader” to understand your new forum powers.
    • [Create Facilitator Google Group]. As part of this Google Group you get permission to do things like change the YPC General Coordination Calendar.
  2. Become an expert in

  3. Ask your fellow circle members for support and feedback on how you’re doing.

  4. Update this post to make it even better for future facilitators.


[Write guidelines]

Transparent Facilitation

Transparent facilitation is when you explain the reasons behind how you’re facilitating as you’re facilitating. This is especially helpful when training people new to governance practices.

Ted Rau calls this “facilitator with live commentary” in the article The 3 most typical struggles in sociocratic organizations. Here’s an excerpt:

A small tool that I have found very helpful is a facilitator who frames every element of a meeting. I call it “facilitator with live commentary”. For instance, introduce every round reminding people what is being asked and why. It does not have to be wordy. Here are some examples:

  • Ok, now that we have read the proposal, let’s do a round on clarifying questions. I want to make sure everyone understands the proposal so we don’t waste time talking about wrong assumptions about what the proposal says. If you understand the proposal, just say “pass”, or “I understand the proposal”.
  • Now we will do a round for quick reactions so people can share what they like or don’t like about the proposal. Let’s keep them really brief. That way, we can be sure we have enough time to incorporate objections which is where our focus should be.

Transparent facilitation is also asking for help when you’re stuck.