One of the things that makes WCW so unique is the “Guidelines” or “Agreements” by which every WCW group is run. It is incredible to witness the “magic” that happens when women share in a circle while following these guidelines…
- One person speaks at a time: We go around the circle one-by-one with everyone having the same of amount of time to share.
- No advice giving: We believe each person has the ability to find her own answers and solutions when given the needed space and time.
- Pay complete attention to each person when she is speaking: Eye contact and respectful attention is given to each speaker.
- Listen respectfully and non-judgmentally: This is a treasured gift we give to one another, and to ourselves, by removing judgment, criticism and negativity.
- All information shared within the group is strictly confidential, never to be brought up again, except by the speaker if and when she chooses: We do not refer to what has been said by someone else in a group, we do not bring up someone’s topic when we meet them again, inside or outside the Center. Each person owns her experience and has the power to decide whether to bring up an issue. This promotes healthy boundaries.
- No put downs of yourself or others: WE do not insult or use negative labels for ourselves or others.
- Speak from your own experience: Use “I” statements. Speak your own truth as opposed to making generalizations and speaking in terms of “the truth.” This allows each of us to have different experiences and feel accepted.
- Commit to consistent attendance: Individuals in the group ARE the group. Each one counts at every meeting and contributes to the safety, dynamics and validity of the group.
Other WCW Terms
Go-Round: When sitting in a WCW circle, sharing is done one woman at a time and then passed to the next woman at the end of her turn. We call one full rotation of the Circle a “go-round.” Many times the Peer Leader will say, “We’ll each share for 2 minutes” and a timer is set for each woman when she speaks. If a woman doesn’t take up her entire time, the group sits in silence so that if the speaker thinks of anything else to add, she still has “her time” to share. If the timer goes off before the speaker is done with her thought, she is encouraged to not cut herself off, but complete her thought and pass to the next woman.
New & Good: Many times at the beginning of a group, the leader will ask for a “New & Good,” which means you are to share something new and/or good that has happened to you. This helps to get the energy flowing and allows women to feel a connection with the group.
What’s On Top? Other times, a group leader will pose the question, “What’s on Top?” and the go-round is meant to allow participants to share what is on the top of their mind right then and there. When a group starts with people rushing in, stressing about life and not fully present to start the group, this is a wonderful way to share what we were doing and thinking before we came together for this WCW experience. At times, just sharing what preoccupies us, helps us to focus on what is about to happen and helps to reduce the stress of life.
If you ever have questions about a Guideline or about something happening in the group, feel free to privately see your WCW Peer Leader for more information. All of this is set up to help foster a safe, caring environment in which to share ideas.