Strength of Connection eNewsletter
Vol I, Issue 1, December 2007
A Leaderful Life: Moving Toward Effective Leadership
"Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him, and then choose that way with all his strength."
-- Hasidic saying
There seems to be a shared longing in the people I've run into lately to live from a place of effectiveness, inner-outer congruency and inspiration. They desire to live connected with a clear sense of purpose and act in meaningful ways from that clarity. Whether your sphere of influence resides within families, community organizations, social institutions and/or global corporations, consider seeking companions for your journey integrating passion and action.
Inspired by the idea of service as leadership and a desire to create support for emerging leaders, I'm offering a five month course called "A Leaderful Life: Moving Toward Effective Leadership."
Margaret Wheatley defines a leader as "anyone who wants to help, who is willing to step forward to create change in their world." This course will be a chance to explore a variety of authors, look at how Nonviolent Communication can support effective leadership and paradigm shifting, and create community to support you as you step forward to create change in the world around you. For more details, click on the links below:
There are two opportunities to engage in this course:
- In person with a small group in a lovely setting on Bainbridge Island or
- via phone through the NVC Academy telecourse.
Choose the training strategy that works best for you.
Story of Hope from Prison
This past October I was scheduled to go into the men's prison in Monroe, WA to lead a NVC basics workshop with a Freedom Project team. I was bringing a guest, and after 4 hours of traveling there, the guest was not allowed to enter the prison because the paperwork could not be found.
I sent the rest of the training team inside and I drove the guest back to the ferry, returning to prison two hours later. I walked into the most amazing scene. There were 25 inmates sitting in groups of five offering each other the gift of presence and deep listening. How had that happened when only a few of the men had any idea what NVC was two hours before and they had spent months or years avoiding each other on the prison grounds?
They were playing "NVC poker," a game where one person tells a story about a time in his life, the rest listen while holding a handful of cards with a need written on each.After the story is told, each player lays down the need cards they think apply and ask, "Were you feeling_____ because you were needing_____?
Example: Were you feeling discouraged because you were needing support?
The storyteller just listens until all cards are down then picks up the ones that resonate the most.
What was amazing to me was the level of presence these men were giving each other, the sincerity of their guesses about needs and the profound look on the faces of those who were having their stories heard in this way for the first time ever. A sense of hope rushed through me that within two hours such change could occur.
I was flooded with gratitude to know a practical, useable process that has the power to awaken our natural sense of compassion. Sometimes it's hard to believe that in my work I get to experience so much beauty over and over in places few people think beauty resides. This was one of those times.
Celebrating a Place in the World
"When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it."
- W. Clement Stone
As 2007 is coming to a close, I'm breathing in the wonder of the last several months. Strength of Connections was born out of a passion I hold for connection with others and my desire to contribute to peace in the world. I now have a beautiful space for people to come together, to listen deeply, to move back out into the world with a sense of purpose.
I'm grateful to the many people who have offered skills, expertise, support, vision and heart to make this dream a reality. I still travel and do work on the phone, yet now I have a home to come back to. Please visit if you are in the area!