Book Circles

READY TO START A BOOK CIRCLE?

What is a Book Circle?

A Book Circle involves a small group of people who meet on a regular basis to share specific pieces of literature. One of the great features of book circles is that they mirror the way we actually interact with the texts we read. 

The process invites those involved to freely discuss, question, and debate the literature thereby gaining greater insights into the underlying messages being generated.

The CCA Book Circle

We’ve developed an easy-to-implement template for a CCA Book Circle based on a group of about 10 participants who meet weekly for 8 consecutive weeks to discuss the book: Ecological and Climate-Conscious Coaching- A Companion Guide to Evolving Coaching Practice.

Each meeting is set to be around 75 minutes long and the Circle has a leader or two co-leaders who manage the Circle sessions using the Facilitation Guide we’ve provided below. 

If you’d like to establish and lead your own CCA Book Circle, read on. However, and just as important, if you’d like to join and participate in a Book Circle, you’ll find these listed below or on our Coming Events page.

Leading a CCA Book Circle?

  • First, decide when you would like to hold your Circle. Choose a day and time that suits you for 8 consecutive weeks. You can, of course, begin your Book Circle whenever you’re ready but, if you’re participating in the CCA 2024 Book Circle launch, use the following schedule as a guide. 

  • Secondly, post an event to invite others to your Circle. We recommend creating a “single” event spanning the 8 weeks and setting out all meeting dates. Select “Book Circles” as your Event Type and make sure to indicate the language used for the Book Circle. The book is only available in English, but the Book Circle sessions can be held in any language. We suggest the Book Circles be conducted online, but you are free to run in person if you prefer.

  • If on Zoom, with your own account, you will need to create a recurring zoom registration link that will cover your 8 Circle meetings. This will allow you to gather your participants’ email addresses for on-going communication as well as provide them with all Circle meetings to be posted onto their respective calendars. Remember to limit the number of participants in your Zoom registration to about 10 people including yourselves. Click here for detailed Zoom Support information.

  • Publicize your Circle around you, in your pod or community, on LinkedIn or other Social Media. Get people to register.

  • Prior to Session 1, remind your participants about borrowing a copy of the book from their library or purchasing it through our website (don’t forget to mention the discount code), letting them know which chapters to read, and sharing the discussion questions for Session 1.

  • Review the facilitation guide for Session 1 below.

  • Start at Session 1.

  • At the end of Session 8, invite everyone to join into the celebrations where the editors and authors of the book will cheer you on and answer any questions you may have. Decide with your circle what a next step might be for your circle.

  • Fill out the survey and encourage your circle to do the same.

Got questions? Email: circles@climatecoachingalliance.org

Book Circle Facilitation Guide

CHAPTER 1 - WELCOME LETTER

CHAPTER 2 - AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ECOLOGICAL AND CLIMATE CRISIS

🌱 Opening

Start with a short presencing exercise.

💫 Introductions

Prompt: Share your name, pronouns, physical location, your Climate Coaching Alliance community or pod as applicable + what made you say “yes” to this invitation. Then pass to someone else. (Circle leader should go first and model this.)

🌻 Agreements (borrowed from The All We Can Save project*)

Share these agreements for Circle Dialogue. Then, welcome any questions / comments / suggested additions. Request affirmation from the group (verbal “yes” or thumbs up).

  1. Generous Dialogue: We will ask open and generous questions, offer our own stories and ideas generously, and listen to one another with a generosity of spirit.

  2. Equitable Dialogue: We will have a single conversation — one voice at a time, with roughly equal time to share. We will each step up or step back as needed.

  3. Confidential Dialogue: We will ensure that sharings made within our Circle are not shared beyond it, unless someone gives clear permission to do so.

  4. Growing Dialogue: We will lean into learning, welcome diverse opinions and perspectives, and support our mutual growth in knowledge and power.

  5. Courageous Dialogue: We will bring our heads and hearts to this space, holding hard truths while looking towards what is possible and how we can best contribute.

  6. Additional agreements for this Circle?

☀️ Discussion

Move through the questions (p. 7) ensuring everyone has a chance to share:

  1. What do you really hope for as a result of this journey, participating in this circle and reading this book?

  2. What questions are you bringing with you?

  3. What do you believe you need to leave behind to go on this journey?

  4. What is the most important gift you will bring to your book circle?

📓Reading and reflection before next session

  • Chapter 3 – Stories of Eco-Awakening

  • Chapter 4 – Awakening in the Coaching Profession

For those who may want to reflect and write between this session and the next one, offer the following journal prompt: -Why is it so valuable to do this together?

🌙 Closing

Express gratitude. Remind group of next session date/time.

 Finally, read the poem “hieroglyphic stairway” by Drew Dellinger (p. 8) or share the video.


 

* All We Can Save is a bestselling anthology of writings by 60 women at the forefront of climate work edited by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Dr. Katharine Wilkinson. The agreements cited above are borrowed from their book circles. Additionally, you can find their circle facilitation tips and guidelines on this page of their website.

 

CHAPTER 3 - STORIES OF ECO-AWAKENING

CHAPTER 4 - AWAKENING IN THE COACHING PROFESSION

🌱 Opening

Read the poem by Rumi (p. 16).

💫 Check-in

Prompt: Share your name + a picture, a zoom background or an object that best describes your own story of eco-awakening. Then pass to someone else. (Circle leader should go first and model this.)

🌻 Agreements

Revisit the agreements (see Circle Agreements below), asking the group: 

  • How did we do with these in our first session? 

  • What might we need to be particularly mindful of today?

☀️ Discussion

Move through the questions (p. 49) ensuring everyone has a chance to share:

  1. In what ways as a coach or any other role in my life, am I enabling the system to perpetuate itself?

  2. What are the opportunities that I have to breathe life into a different awareness through my coaching practice and my life in general?

  3. What might I need to steady myself as I look deeply into the system?

📓 Pre-reading and exploration before next session

  • Chapter 5 – Listen to the Science

  • Chapter 6 – Listen to the Earth

For those who want to explore before next session, offer:

– the Deep Time Walk meditation from Outrage&Optimism Podcast (episode #136), and
Council of All Beings recording from the Climate Coaching Alliance 2022 Festival

🌙 Closing

Express gratitude. Remind group of next session date/time.

Read Joanna Macy’s quote (p. 34).

CHAPTER 5 - LISTEN TO THE SCIENCE

CHAPTER 6 - LISTEN TO THE EARTH

🌱 Opening

Play Elegy For the Arctic by Ludovico Einaudi and Green Peace.

💫 Check-in

Prompt: Share your name + a body posture or movement that expresses your mood. Then pass to someone else. (Circle leader should go first and model this. Invite everyone to “echo” each body posture or movement.)

🌻 Agreements

Revisit the agreements (see Circle Agreements below), asking the group: -what might we need to be particularly mindful of today?

☀️ Discussion

Move through the following questions, ensuring everyone has a chance to share:

  1. What are you noticing around you?

  2. What do you choose now to accept and to embrace in order to make the changes the world needs?

  3. How have you been impacted by the Deep Time Walk and/or Council of All Beings and do you see yourself including these experiences in your practice?

📓 Reading and reflection before next session

  • Chapter 7 – Processing our Emotional Responses

  • Chapter 8 – Shifting our Thinking

  • Chapter 9 – Spiritually Connecting

For those who may want to reflect and write between this session and the next one, offer the following journal prompt:

  • What can I do to continue to listen to Science? to the Earth?

🌙 Closing

Read the poem “Mother’s Earth Dilemma” by Gillian Walter (p. 51) to close, taking turns, each participant reading a paragraph.

CHAPTER 7 - PROCESSING OUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSES

CHAPTER 8 - SHIFTING OUR THINKING

CHAPTER 9 - SPIRITUALLY CONNECTING

🌱 Opening

Read the quote by Robin Wall Kimmerer (p. 91) or 1 other poem or quote from Chapter 7.

💫 Check-in

Prompt: Share your name + choose three emotions from the table (p. 93) that best describe what you are feeling in this moment vis à vis the human caused climate crisis. (Circle leader should go first and model this.)

🌻 Agreements

Revisit the agreements (see Circle Agreements below) asking the group: -what might we need to be particularly mindful of today?

☀️ Discussion

Move through the following questions, ensuring everyone has a chance to share:

  1. What is the story that you want your grandchildren to tell their children about who you were and what you did?

  2. How are you shifting/expanding your thinking to be more eco-systemic?

  3. What does spirituality have to do with climate coaching?

📓 Reading before next session

  • Chapter 10 – Eco-Engaged Coaching

  • Chapter 11- Stories of Transforming our Coaching

🌙 Closing

Read the poem “hymn to the sacred body of the universe” by Drew Dellinger (p. 131).

If time allows, invite each participant to share one additional paragraph starting with “let’s meet at the confluence”. Alternatively, each participant can journal daily before next session starting with this same phrase: “let’s meet at the confluence”.

CHAPTER 10 - ECO-ENGAGED COACHING

CHAPTER 11 - STORIES OF TRANSFORMING OUR COACHING

🌱 Opening

Read the poem “The Wheel” by Neil Scotton (p. 134) to open.

💫 Check-in

Prompt: Share your name + three words: one for mind, one for heart and one for body that best describe how you are engaging in this meeting. (Circle leader should go first and model this.)

🌻 Agreements

Revisit the agreements (see Circle Agreements below) and ask: -what might we need to be particularly mindful of today?

☀️ Discussion

Move through the following questions, ensuring everyone has a chance to share:

  1. Share one new way you can integrate climate and ecology in your practice?

  2. Which story of eco-engaged coaching do you resonate with the most? What are you taking away from that story?

📓 Reading and preparation before next session

  • Chapter 12 – Eco-Engaged Supervision

  • Chapter 13 – Eco-Engaged Coach Development and Training

🌙 Closing

Read the two quotes by Maya Angelou (p.169).

If time allows, invite each participant to complete the sentence “In our next Circle, I could be more courageous by …?”. Alternatively, use the sentence to open the next session.

CHAPTER 12 - ECO-ENGAGED SUPERVISION

CHAPTER 13 - ECO-ENGAGED COACH DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING

🌱 Opening

Invite the circle members to stand up -if that is an option for them, feeling the Earth beneath their feet, and either read “He Karakia Timatanga” (p. 199) or listen to Rachel Petero’s recording.

💫 Check-in

Prompt: Share your name + acknowledge the land that you are standing on(*) + complete the sentence from last session: “Today, in this circle, I could be more courageous by. ….”. Then pass to someone else. (Circle leader should go first and model this.)

🌻 Agreements

Revisit the agreements (see Circle Agreements below) and ask: “what might we need to be particularly mindful of today?”

☀️ Discussion

Move through the following questions, ensuring everyone has a chance to share:

  1. Which coaching mindsets (p. 188-189) might we need to let go of for a more eco-engaged coaching?

  2. Which examples of eco-engaged training and development (either mentioned in these chapters or others that you know of) do you most resonate with? Why?

  3. In break-out rooms (12 minutes, two or three participants), explore responses to typical challenges to eco-engaged coaching. Here are examples from the book, you may have your own:

    – “The ecological and climate crisis are political agendas and should be kept out of coaching and coaching training.”
    – “Coaching is about helping individuals, not about wider issues.”
    – “Ecology is not a coaching core competence.”

  4.  As a group, share responses to the challenges.

📓 Reading and preparation before next session

  • Chapter 14 – Impacting the wider world and developing the coaching profession

  • Chapter 15 – Developing our vision and values, transforming our own business

    Prepare an assessment of your own business in the form of a spider chart as viewed through the lens of Paul Hawken’s twelve questions (p. 40-41, 243) using this template.

🌙 Closing

Invite the circle members to stand up again and read Karakia Whakamutunga Tawhito (p. 199).



* For some countries, you can find information about land acknowledgement on the website www.native-land.ca.

CHAPTER 14 - IMPACTING THE WIDER WORLD AND DEVELOPING THE COACHING PROFESSION

CHAPTER 15 - DEVELOPING OUR VISION AND VALUES, TRANSFORMING OUR OWN BUSINESS

🌱 Opening

Choose a quote to read from p. 205.

💫 Check-in

Exercise: Introducing yourself through your ancestors

State your name and the place where you were born. Then take a few minutes to introduce your ancestors: first your parents, then your grandparents and great-grandparents (if time allows) while sharing a little bit of their story. If you have limited knowledge of your ancestry, simply share what you know or what you have imagined your ancestry to be. (Circle leader should go first and model this.)

🌻 Agreements

Revisit the agreements (see Circle Agreements below) and ask: “what might we need to be particularly mindful of today?”

☀️ Discussion

Move through the following questions, ensuring everyone has a chance to share:

  1. As a group, share your experience of the exercise Introducing yourself through your ancestors.

  2. In break-out rooms (15 minutes, two or three participants) share the spider chart of your own business as viewed through the lens of Paul Hawken’s twelve questions (p. 243), using the template provided if useful. Pick one or two axes that need your attention.

  3. As a group, share your experience of the assessment of your own business and of the areas requiring work. How may this be reflected on your website?

📓 Reading and preparation before next session

  • Chapter 16- Integrating our Learning

  • Chapter 17- Resourcing Ourselves

🌙 Closing

Read the quote by Bronnie Ware (p. 233). Express gratitude.

CHAPTER 16 - INTEGRATING OUR LEARNING

CHAPTER 17 - RESOURCING OURSELVES

🌱 Opening

Read Peter Hawkins quote (p. 247) or another quote of your choice from chapter 16.

💫 Check-in

Prompt: Share your name + acknowledge the land you are in + take a body posture or movement that expresses your aliveness. Then pass to someone else. Invite everyone to “echo” each body posture or movement. (Circle leader should go first and model this.)

🌻 Agreements

Revisit the agreements (see Circle Agreements below) and ask: “what might we need to be particularly mindful of today being our last session?”

☀️ Discussion

Move through the following final questions, ensuring everyone has a chance to share:

  1. Thinking back through this journey, have you glimpsed or imagined a new future? for yourself? your coaching practice? your community? your life? your grandchildren?

  2. Where do we go from here?

📝 Circles Survey

Please share this survey with your Circle, so we can understand more deeply the experiences participants are having and where changes to this facilitation guide might be welcome.

🌙 Closing

Prompt: Share one word that speaks to your Circle experience. Then pass to someone else.

Finally, read The Thanksgiving Address of the Hadenosaunee people, each participant reading a paragraph and then passing to someone else.

Agreements (from The All We Can Save project*)

Share these agreements for Circle dialogue. Then, welcome any questions / comments / suggested additions. Request affirmation from the group (verbal “yes” or thumbs up).

  1. Generous Dialogue: We will ask open and generous questions, offer our own stories and ideas generously, and listen to one another with a generosity of spirit.

  2. Equitable Dialogue: We will have a single conversation — one voice at a time, with roughly equal time to share. We will each step up or step back as needed.

  3. Confidential Dialogue: We will ensure that sharings made within our Circle are not shared beyond it, unless someone gives clear permission to do so.

  4. Growing Dialogue: We will lean into learning, welcome diverse opinions and perspectives, and support our mutual growth in knowledge and power.

  5. Courageous Dialogue: We will bring our heads and hearts to this space, holding hard truths while looking towards what is possible and how we can best contribute.

  6. Additional agreements for this Circle?



* All We Can Save is a bestselling anthology of writings by 60 women at the forefront of climate work edited by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Dr. Katharine Wilkinson. The agreements cited above are borrowed from their book circles. Additionally, you can find their circle facilitation tips and guidelines on this page of their website.