July 18, 2014



I've been actively thinking about leadership since 2001, when three of us began planning the first NVC yearlong leadership program in North America (the first that I know of, at least). I've been learning, thinking, reading, writing, and teaching about leadership for all these years. Naturally, I never expected that after all this time I would have a sudden leap in experience and understanding about my own path to leadership. 


That's exactly what happened to me in the last few weeks.


Adriana Skura

I just wrote a blog piece about most of these experiences, titled Leadership, Separation, and Vulnerability. In addition, I am sharing here with you an exchange I recently had with Adriana, the person who's been my assistant for almost two years. I am choosing to do this (with her wholehearted support), because I believe it illustrates so fully one aspect of what it takes to shift into collaborative management.


A few days ago I received an email from her that included the following question: "I was wondering if I could take next Tuesday July 15th off. It's my Birthday and I would love to spend the day at Harbin with my partner."   


I imagine that some version of this kind of question is routinely directed by people to their managers. There is nothing unusual about it to my eye. It would have been a totally simple and easy step to just send an email back to her saying: "Sure, happy birthday." 


Yet, in this simple exchange the traditional, familiar structures of power are reaffirmed. Instead, I invited Adriana, in my reply, "to reframe the question so there is more power sharing." I offered her another version to try on instead: "I would love to take next Tuesday ...... Is there any reason you see why that might not work?" My reasoning was that this revised question "retains the power in both our hands rather than giving it to me." Then I responded to the proposed reframed question by saying: "I don't foresee any difficulty with this. Do you?"


I feel ecstatic, as a leader and manager, to have had the presence of mind to notice this when it happened, and to reach back to Adriana to invite her to speak with power. This, in turn, invited her to consider her choice more fully. As part of her response, she said this: "I feel slightly anxious about taking the time off because it creates a backlog of work. In the same time, taking my birthday off to do intent setting and contemplation has been a long standing ritual for me."


The way I understand this response is precisely that reframing the question allowed her to be part of making the decision with me - not on her own without consideration for the effect on me, and not giving it all to me. This is a way that we can partner and collaborate with each other even while I am in a position of authority and she is clearly in a support role.


Even when we truly want to function collaboratively and are deeply interested in

having fully empowered employees and supporters, it takes vigilance to catch these moments and transform them, because we are so deeply embedded within existing structures of power, within us and around us. 


These is a level of attention to detail that's indispensable here. It's not a devil. It's simply the legacy of millennia of people passing on to the next generation the same frame of reference about power that leaves it in the hands of a few to make decisions. I feel profoundly lucky to have a personal assistant who is, with me, committed to forging the new path through our daily practices.


Click here to read my blog about my recent breakthroughs with regards to leadership. If you want to read the celebrations and happenings since the last newsletter, click here.


If you are inspired to move in the direction of more collaboration, more integrity, and more effectiveness as a leader, and to learn and get support with how to create this transformation, one decision, one conversation, one email at a time, then I hope you will consider joining the Transforming the Workplace Mentoring Program. 


The first cycle is a bit over half way through, and the experience on the calls is nothing short of electrifying in moments. The next cycle begins August 25. More on this and much else below. 


In hope and peace,

Miki Kashtan

  Second Session of New Mentoring Program
Transforming the Workplace Mentoring & Collaboration
Starting August 25, 2014


Imagine being part of a small group of committed organizational leaders and influencers who are also deeply passionate about workplace transformation and aiming to make it part of their daily living in their organizational roles. Imagine the depth of growth and effectiveness that could happen when all of you work in concert towards this same goal. Imagine how your life and work would be different if you got just the support you need, and were able to develop all the skills you need, at just the moment you need them. Consider applying to be a part of this mentoring and collaboration program with Miki Kashtan and other BayNVC facilitators and coaches. 
  Convergent Facilitation Workshop

Learn how to make efficient collaborative decisions

August 26, 2014, 8:30-5:00, Oakland, CA


Other meeting facilitation courses teach participants how to set an agenda, brainstorm, prioritize, and end a meeting on time.  But they don't address the underlying reasons most meetings aren't productive -- there isn't enough trust in the room for people to voice their real concerns, the conflicts people have aren't addressed to anyone's satisfaction, and people say they're willing to compromise in the meeting and then sabotage the decision later on. This practical workshop led by Lisa Rothman and Miki shows you how to build trust, transcend conflict, and make collaborative decisions without sacrificing productivity.  Ample breakout activities and coached role-plays will prepare you to use the Convergent Facilitation Decision-Making Framework as soon as you return to work.

The Art and Craft of Dialogue, with NVC Academy
Within Communities: July 18 and 25, Aug 1 and 8 (4 sessions)
With the World at Large: Oct 3-31 (4 sessions, skips Oct 17)

Miki's teaching usually focuses on deep inner and outer transformation... Not so with this unique telecourse! This time Miki will be keeping her eagle-eye on sharing practical, useable approaches and tips you'll be able to readily apply to your workplace life. Her goal is to help you greatly increase the comfort and satisfaction you feel in your life by knowing how to approach your conversations with others. If you've missed some sessions, you can register and receive recordings.
The Fearless Heart
Sunday July 13: 10:30am-12pm PST
Tuesday July 15: 5:30pm-7pm PST
Join Miki to talk about recent posts on her blog. The Fearless Heart blends theory, deep spiritual wisdom, vulnerable sharing of personal insights and experiences, radical vision, and practical tips for everyday living. Miki's interactive style of teaching focuses on the needs and interests of those who call in, whether they know her work well or are meeting it for the first time. 
Leveraging Your Influence European Retreat
September 2-7, 2014

Are you ready to access your own power and capacity for visionary leadership? Do you long to lead by example with care and empathy in service of creating a world that serves life - at home, at work, in whatever context? This Fall, join Miki in Poland and learn to integrate the three aspects of nonviolence - love, truth, and courage - into the very fabric of your everyday life so they can serve as the foundation and organizing principle of your work in the world. 

Two workshops at a beautiful venue in the Netherlands

Principle Based Teaching

September 10-13, 2014 


Leveraging Your Influence: West Coast Retreat
5-day retreat: October 16-20, 2014

This is the first time Miki has offered a Leveraging Your Influence (LYI) retreat on the West Coast. In the U.S. this bi-coastal program has thrived for over two years as a monthly day-long workshop in Oakland, CA, and through bi-annual retreats in upstate New York. Now current and would-be LYI participants in California can experience the depth and connection afforded by a retreat. 

 Support the Reach of Miki's New Books
Spinning Threads of Radical Aliveness 
Brainstorm local events!


So far, over 1,000 copies of Miki's book, Spinning Threads of Radical Aliveness: Transcending the Legacy of Separation in our Individual Lives, have been sold! It has been incredibly well-received by people all over the world. We'd love to have opportunities to read in local bookstores and at local events. If you live in the Bay Area or if Miki is coming to your hometown for a workshop, let us know if you have contacts or ideas for local events.  


And please continue spreading the word if you know anyone else that may benefit from this extraordinary work. 

The Little Book of Courageous Living
Buy for a friend!


Last month, Miki published her second book, and so far, we've sold over 300 copies! This one is much simpler, but with the same depth and richness that Miki always delivers. With grace, acuity, and humor, she has shared with thousands of people on five continents how to live, in every moment, from love, courage, and truth - the three hallmarks of nonviolence. This little book contains 200 concise, evocative distillations of her wisdom, illustrated with powerful and original images. It is an invitation to you to bring more courage to your life. 

The Circle of Support is Growing!
Consider Joining Miki's Circle of Support
Miki's Circle of Support now has 23 members with a total monthly donation of $435. At the same time, 146 people have signed up for her first fully gifted offering -- The Fearless Heart teleseminars above -- with only 9 people overlapping both groups. The uncoupling of giving from receiving is happening, and this is wonderful news!  Read more about Miki's vision and consider joining here.