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Collaboration Circles blend coaching tools with social learning techniques and digital savvy within reciprocal peer support. In circles we create meaningful connections and interdependence while experiencing a structured approach to influence individual behaviours. Circles provide a cost-effective support model for greater resilience, self-directed development and problem-solving.


Circles have huge potential for people and leadership development within, across and outside of organisations. Programmes of Collaboration Circles can be used to support specific workforce or community agendas, as part of organisational, project or campaign start-ups, alongside major organisational change initiatives or as core L&D activity including induction activity. 


“It feels like safe learning, very practical

and immediately applied. I would recommend to others”

Our Collaboration Circles build on antecedents in coaching, mentoring, appreciative inquiry and action learning combined with an understanding of the functioning of social networks, social media and behavioural change to support achievement of individual goals and collaborative working habits.

Circles are widely utilised around the world in diverse range of settings. E.g  

  • ‘Circles of Support’ were developed in Canada in the 1980s

  • 'Community Circles' support person-centred care and planning

  • 'Circles of Support and Accountability' used in post-treatment support and for working with offenders in the community.

  • ‘Collaborative circles’ valued in artistic and creative work

  • ‘Peer coaching circles’ common for leadership development

  • Mastermind Circles used by many senior executives 

  • ‘Working Out Loud Circles’ pioneered by John Stepper


Through 8-week cycles small groups work together to develop reciprocity, build relationships and practice new and existing skills. Facilitated circles enable those experiencing circles for the first time to focus

effectively on their own skills development, while building the capacity of all participants for future facilitation.

Circle programmes are tailored to fit needs of the organisation or individuals. Generally circles look like:

  • 4 or 5 members optimum, known to each other beforehand or not

  • Meet for an hour weekly or fortnightly for an 8-week period at a regular time

  • Face-to-face, by videoconference, or by phone

  • Facilitated by someone with prior experience

  • Follow a structured agenda with pre-reading, tools, activities and discussion points

  • Between meetings participants communicate and continue sharing through a closed online forum

  • Each week members generally complete around 2-4 hours further activity towards their goal, fitted around and within their work and lives

  • A resource bank is developed supporting participants with understanding and goals

  • Participants complete pre and post impact questionnaires to measure impact

  • Individual coaching opportunities can be offered to participants - prior, half-way and following circle programme - to support goal setting and optimising development.


“Bravery! I have responded and initiated contacts

with others I wouldn't normally have made the most of.”

“I feel able to take control of my professional development & personal goals”

"I am able to share my knowledge, expertise and appreciation more

readily with others”

“I develop and act on new opportunities and ideas more quickly”

Happen Together CIC

For you, for your work, for social change

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