Miki Kashtan

Miki Kashtan

CNVC Certified Trainer, author and co-founder of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication (BayNVC) and the North America NVC Leadership Program, from Oakland, California, USA

Miki Kashtan is a co-founder of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication (BayNVC) and Lead Collaboration Consultant at the Center for Efficient Collaboration. Miki aims to support visionary leadership and shape a livable future using collaborative tools based on the principles of Nonviolent Communication. She shares these tools through meeting facilitation, mediation, consulting, coaching, and training for organizations and committed individuals. Her latest book, Reweaving Our Human Fabric: Working together to Create a Nonviolent Future (2015) explores the practices and systems needed for a collaborative society. She is also the author of Spinning Threads of Radical Aliveness: Transcending the Legacy of Separation in Our Individual Lives, and The Little Book of Courageous Living. Miki blogs at The Fearless Heart and her articles have appeared in the New York Times ("Want Teamwork? Encourage Free Speech"), Tikkun, Waging Nonviolence, Shareable, Peace and Conflict, and elsewhere. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Berkeley.

“Miki, I really admire the way you are able to be so present in the moment and are able to respond so well to what you see and sense. Just watching you in action makes this course worthwhile to me." 
               —S.G., Litchfield, Connecticut, USA

”Miki's workshop was exceptional in giving an overview of the work, while calmly meeting the emotional challenges everyone brought to the table.”
              —Class participant

Website: BayNVC

This pandemic is an immense opportunity, and a dire catastrophe in the making. It’s a crisis within many planetary crises — during which, our habits as individuals, and as a collective, are challenged because they don’t sustain us. Now we are pushed to respond freshly and join forces in ways that seemed impossible before.
When something happens that we don't like no amount of resentment nor magical thinking will make it disappear. Instead, we can mourn to dissolve our own resistance, resentment, and numbness of resignation. Mourning can allow us to feel pain with acceptance, and without needing to be okay with what happened. Acceptance can bring us to a place where even all the anguish in the world is fully, part of life.
In order to bring in more nonviolence into the world, we need to take our own needs seriously and recognize that no amount of seeing someone’s innocence would mean putting up with more of their harmful behavior. We need to disentangle compassion towards another from the willingness to tolerate more harmful actions. At times this means finding enough self-love, support, or clarity, to take decisive action. Read on for more.
We can't alone (nor with lone communities) transform the hidden structures of violence and domination. Dialogue alone isn't disruptive enough. We can easily be in dialogue with Trump supporters while the planet burns up, millions are still hungry, and we go extinct. NVC seriously risks reinforcing vast inequities and abuses if we're not radically engaging systemic constraints, and impacts of our choices that go beyond our immediate circle. Read on for ways to leverage NVC practices to expand true social change.

A chosen, interdependent world… In most cases, that's sure not the world we live in today, is it.  But it could be the world we live in tomorrow. And you can choose to be part of bringing that better world to life – to be part of a gradual, joyful transformation – simply by using the dynamic, living power of Dialogue.

 The first session of this course is available for all to listen to and enjoy.

What specifically is leadership? And why do so many people step back from it? Listen in as Miki shares her experience and thoughts around changing the paradigm of leadership, as well as the role – and challenges – of using NVC when working for social change. Check it out.

We can see throughout many examples in history that when we look for "who" is at fault, and thereby seek social change through shaming that person (or that group), it tends to lead to disastrous long term consequences. Even if it works in the short term. Instead, if we want to end cycles of violence we can seek to understand systemic causes and context of individuals' behaviour. And from there, look for solutions that stem from this understanding.
The more we can stay present with our hurt, and own our interpretations, we are more likely to express what's important to us without blame and also to become resilient. From there, the listener can have more space to offer their full presence and empathy. Read on for more.
The “mind” or our “ego” are often depicted as a static entity, an unchangable part of human nature, and as obstacles or negative parts of ourselves to overcome. This view creates maligning, a split within us, while remaining invisibly part and parcel of authority-based societies --the dominant culture and institutions into which we are born. Instead, I want to advocate an integration of reason and emotion, mind and heart, plus self and others.
Why is it so difficult to not take things personally? It's because everything reinforces the sense that whatever is being said is indeed about us – both from without and from within. However, we can get better at not taking things personally with a practice of shifting our focus by being open to multiple interpretations, understanding that our reaction is about our own need, and noticing how the other person’s words, no matter how they sound to us, are an expression of their needs. We can then be more present and available to navigate the situation.
 
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