Kevin’s Story, founder of Full Circle Dialogue
Kevin Graybill, founder and director of Full Circle Dialogue, has an extensive history participating in dialogue and facilitating dialogue starting at a very young age. Kevin grew up in the household of his father, Oscar Graybill, founder of Socratic Seminars International, a consulting group that trains K-12 teachers in how to properly facilitate the dialogue strategy “Socratic Seminars” in the classroom with their students. Growing up, the sometimes allusive differences between dialogue and debate were always made very clear, and engaging in dialogue and Socratic questioning strategies at the dinner table, or any other family engagement, was not a foreign affair. In middle school and high school, Kevin had several opportunities to participate in Socratic Seminars, where he was always fascinated by the way this dialogue strategy forced him and his classmates to think critically about themselves, the people around them, and the world we live in.
Following Kevin’s completion of his studies at Washington State University, where he achieved Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Communications and Psychology, he partnered up alongside his father at Socratic Seminars International to continue his passion for dialogue as the Director of Operations in 2009. This was the beginning of a full immersion into the art and practice of dialogue. Over Kevin’s 6 years serving as Director of Operations at Socratic Seminars International, he traveled to the four corners of the country working hands on with teachers of all different grades and disciplines to help give them the tools needed to spread the seeds of civil dialogue in the classroom amongst their students.
After several years serving this role, something interesting happened to Kevin while co-leading a seminar with a group of teachers in San Diego, a bit of a revelation. Like each of the open registration workshops that Socratic Seminars International puts on, it is typically an eclectic group of 20-120 teachers from different schools in a given region in one room together for the day. At the beginning of the day, no one is really speaking to one another, and the group is a bit fragmented. After a short introduction, the teachers get to actually engage in a real live Socratic Seminar with their peers. This San Diego workshop was no different in that regard, and Kevin noticed something that he had noticed so many times before….once the teachers all got together in a circle and engaged in seminar, the culture and atmosphere in the room completely changed. The room of random people was no longer stuffy and fragmented, but there was a warm sense of community, empathy, and collective voice. Through engaging in a Socratic Seminar, this group of teachers, like many others across the country had before, began to feel more mindful, compassionate, and connected to the strangers around them. This is when Kevin realized that this isn’t just about improving education for the children of the world, but it’s about improving community for the people of the world.
This marked the beginning of Kevin’s journey into the founding of “Full Circle Dialogue.” Kevin’s ultimate mission with Full Circle Dialogue is to help build community, create connectedness, inspire compassion, and encourage mindfulness through hosting rich, face-to-face, conversations. In Kevin’s spare time he likes to ride his bicycle, practice yoga, play guitar, read, and immerse himself in nature as much as possible.