How to facilitate circles

How to Hold and Facilitate Men’s Circles


  • A group of engaged and open men
  • A safe and confidential space
  • Ground rules for respectful communication and listening
  • A structure and format for meetings
  • Reflective questions or topics to deepen the conversation (see our blog)
  • Regular meetings and follow-up activities


Gather a group of men who are committed to self-development and support each other.

This could include friends, colleagues, or members of an online community. Reach out to those around you. There’s no harm in asking, and the worst that can happen is you’ll get a no. Feel free to share this recipe or our website about circles with those you’d like to form a circle with so that everyone is on the same page. You can also contact us at if you need more help and support in this process. (Why only men?)

Choose a safe and confidential space where everyone can feel comfortable sharing.

This could be a private room in a classroom, someone’s home, or a virtual meeting platform. (Check out your municipality’s website, for example:

Establish ground rules for respectful communication and listening.

This could include guidelines such as:

  • Actively listen without judgment
  • Speak from your own experience, using “I” statements (this is essential and requires some practice!)
  • Maintain confidentiality and privacy
  • Respect each other’s boundaries and perspectives

Decide on a structure and format for meetings.

This could include a check-in, a sharing round or guided discussion, and a closing check-out. You can also choose to focus on a specific topic for each session, such as relationships, careers, or personal growth. We recommend that there is always one man leading the circle and that it rotates each time. Remember that you can also hire a facilitator to lead the circle in the start-up phase and help establish the structure.

Example of structure for a 2-hour group with 6 men:

  • Meditation (5 min)
  • Check-in (1 min per person)
  • Embodiment practice (5-10 min)
  • Sharing with feedback (approx. 5 min per person and 2 min feedback)
  • Break (5 min)
  • Theme/exercises/conversations (approx. 30-45 min) (e.g. responsibility and commitment)
  • Check-out (1 min per person, or just a few words)

The check-in is a pure sharing where each man speaks uninterrupted about what is “alive” in him right now. What thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations he carries with him in this moment. Maybe he’s very much in his head and thinking about a work thing… maybe he’s recently had an argument with his partner… these are things worth mentioning in the check-in round. The group leader can always ask the question at the beginning: “What do you bring into the circle today?” or “What is alive in you right now?”

As for the sharing round, it works the same way as with the check-in, but there is more time for each man to speak uninterrupted, and we strongly recommend that the person after the sharing can receive feedback/feedback from the others in the circle. It can be nice if the group leader invites feedback after a sharing by asking the group: “How did that sharing land?” “What did you learn about yourself or the person who shared?” “What did you appreciate and what would you have liked to hear more of?”

NOTE: Feedback should not sound like or flow into a new sharing. The group leader can stop a feedback if it loses focus on the person it is directed at.

The check-out is short and concise and can be introduced by the group leader by asking the question: “What do you take with you out of the circle today” or “Give us three words that are alive in you now.”

Using reflective questions or topics to deepen the circle:

You can find a wealth of other exercises and processes in´s section on self-development that you can use as weekly themes in your man’s circle. (It´s here in Norwegian, but you can easily use google translate to get it in English)

Some examples of questions include:

  • What has been a challenge or obstacle for you recently?
  • What has been a source of joy or inspiration in your life?
  • What is one thing you want to work on or improve in yourself?

Challenging each other to growth:

This is about calling each other out and giving feedback to each other based on sharing and discussion and theme in the group.

Rotate leadership:

This will give each man the opportunity to lead the circle and practice leadership skills. It will also help to create a sense of shared ownership and investment in the circle.

Plan regular meetings and follow-up activities:

We recommend meeting weekly or biweekly. You can also meet once a month and plan extra activities, such as a group outing, workout, or book club discussion. This will help to build camaraderie and connection outside of regular meetings.

Celebrate milestones and achievements together:

This can include recognizing individual achievements or the group’s progress as a whole.

Seek outside support or mediation if needed:

You can hire a facilitator to help you get started or to provide additional inspiration and depth to the circle. If conflicts or disagreements arise that cannot be resolved within the group, you may need to seek outside support from a therapist or mediator. However, try to use the group’s tools and resources first.

Stay engaged and invite others to join:

Encourage participants to stay engaged in the group and invite others who could benefit from the support and community. Dedication is important, and this is a good opportunity to practice keeping your word and commitment to attending the group.

Additional tips:

Be respectful of each other’s boundaries and perspectives. Use “I” statements to express yourself. Be open to feedback. Be patient and persistent.

Good luck!