I'm Bre Pettis, and let me tell you about what I think is the most powerful part of Circles. When you get into a circle, you're going to end up sharing what's going on with you and ideally you're going to go deep so that it can be meaningful. At some point, you're going to surface a challenge and your group in circles is really going to look at one person's challenge and go deep on just that challenge. You're going to be challenged to not give advice, ask questions, and experience share. This not giving advice, asking questions and experience sharing is the most powerful force in the universe, inside and outside of circles.
Here's the thing, we're really, in general as leaders, we think we're smart people. We usually are asked to make decisions. We make them. We're capable of probably doing most jobs in our organizations. We're all in. We're committed, and we make things happen. People come to us for advice and we generally know the answer and can tell them exactly what to do. This doesn't always work that great though. By giving advice, you're really winding yourself up into somebody else's karma. You're taking control out of their hands and owning the probably rather than letting them own the problem. In circles, when you're asking questions and experience sharing, you're really letting that person own their situation. It's such a gift to not try and take it over, to not try and give a solution, to not give advice. It's so powerful for that person who has the challenge.
I can tell you in my life, I feel honestly blessed that I've had a circle that's supported me, that's helped me really engage challenges in my life and get to the bottom of them and take things to the next level. Then I took it outside of my circle and I started using it in my life and it is such a beautiful way to live life. I feel so clean. You know, I'm smart. People ask me for advice, and now instead of telling them what to do, I start asking questions. I start saying, "Okay, well let's get to the bottom of it. Let's see what we can figure out about this challenge," and I ask questions and they're not the kind of questions that are like, "Oh, well have you considered my solution?" They're questions that I don't know the answer to, and hopefully inspire a little more, sort of, self reflection and going deeper.
By experience sharing, I allow the person who has the challenge to benefit from my experience without any obligation. Ideally, it's helpful, and if nothing else it will let them know that they're not alone in their challenge. This is powerful, just in itself. As leaders, oftentimes we're alone. We're the only one who can make the decision or we're at the top of the pyramid. It's just really hard to make deep connections in our organizations at a friendship level, so the cool thing about circles is it gives you that ability to connect to people without any obligation or professional connection. These people can really tell you exactly what they honestly think and that's really powerful. This whole part about sharing a challenge, asking questions, and doing experience sharing, this is not only something you're going to learn in circles that's going to be powerful in circles. You can take it deeper. You can go farther, and you can use this in your life and it's transformational.