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Leveraging Your Influence Using Nonviolent Communication – 2015 Midwest Retreat

May 15 / 2015 - May 21 / 2015


Can you imagine being your most powerful, loving, and authentic self in every moment?

Can you imagine approaching difficult conversations feeling confident that you can speak your full truth, ask for what you most deeply want, and also express care for all?

Are you ready to increase your own power and capacity for leadership, so that you can pursue the world of your dreams and support others to do the same?

Join this immersion-learning retreat practicing visionary leadership with Miki Kashtan (with an additional day and a half for participants in the Facilitation Track)

About the Program

The vision of Leveraging Your Influence is to accelerate the transition to a world where everyone’s needs matter, by empowering individuals and groups to actively integrate three aspects of nonviolence — love, truth, and courage – into the fabric of our daily lives as the foundation and organizing principles of our relationships and work in the world. To ‘leverage your influence’ is to significantly increase your capacity to bring  love, truth, and courage to any context: at home, work, in organizations, institutions and communities.

We build up internal foundations that make leadership possible in all areas of life: vision, acceptance and vulnerability, inner freedom, choice, and power. Then we focus on the practical skills of visionary leadership: to express authentically with both power and care, to use dialogue to transform conflict into deeper mutual understanding, to build effective, efficient and resilient collaborations and support networks, and to pursue our visions in creative ways that consider the needs of all.

We focus on real-life situations in which applying principles of NVC can move us and our environment closer to the dream of a needs-based world. We practice doing this spontaneously, authentically, and naturally, in language relevant to you.

Interdependence and Collaborative Leadership

Each retreat is itself a learning lab for collaborative leadership and is co-created. Participants are invited both to hold the whole and also influence the course to better meet individual learning goals. The course leader aims to model collaborative leadership to attend to the emerging needs of participants in real-time and to harness that energy or content to support the goals of the program overall.


  • Immersion learning in a co-created environment that encourages self-connection and stretching into leadership and learning;
  • Practice opportunities related to every teaching topic;
  • Activities, including body-based and gesture-based exercises, that help you directly access self-connection that can propel you towards action and leadership;
  • Role-plays and coaching that build your capacity to speak from your heart and (1) build trust and connection in difficult conversations, (2) generate group willingness to collaborate, and (3) experience freedom to want what you want fully and stay committed to strategies that work for all when seeking change;
  • Practice naturalizing NVC to expand its application beyond the specific focus on any particular forms of speech;
  • Exposure to engaging with systems of privilege and inequality through the lens of human needs;
  • A Facilitation Track and personalized coaching from Miki  for those teaching or leading groups;
  • Access to a growing community of change-makers committed to nonviolence and ongoing support for leveraging your influence in the world.

On Power and Privilege

Our evolving exploration of leadership addresses power and privilege in general, and for retreats in the U.S., race and ethnicity specifically. Our intention is to catalyze a process of transforming patterns of avoidance, defensiveness, powerlessness, or paralysis into willingness and capacity to step into leadership in these areas; recognizing that taking on issues of power and privilege and developing a capacity for intercultural competence is an essential component of any vision of a world that works for all.

At this early phase, we aim to include the following in this part of our work together:

  • Approach the reality of privilege and structural disparities through the nonviolent lens of truth, love and courage;
  • Explore how the structures within which we live affect our own and others’ experiences of choice, freedom, and access to resources through conscious and open dialogue;
  • Use the NVC frame of feelings and needs to attend to whatever arises: despair, resentment, anger, blame, confusion, guilt, shame; and to bring empathic presence and authentic expression to our interactions.

Individuals who occupy a position of less privilege/power in any given area, may experience this content as structurally mirroring existing dynamics of privilege in the world at-large and may find it similarly challenging or vulnerable. Participating at this level during this retreat is a choice and alternate activities will also be available.

Facilitation Track (FT)

Individuals with special interest in leading groups and organizations collaboratively are invited to register for the Facilitation Track. During lunchtime meetings, Miki shares insights about the visionary leadership that she models, and offers coaching, tips, and advice on how to balance holding all needs with efficient, effective, and purposeful engagement. This track also includes additional sessions with Miki devoted to facilitation-related questions from participants. The FT track also has immediate opportunities to apply new learning to the retreat itself by facilitating activities, supporting the design team, and helping to shape the flow day-to-day. This level of involvement and service is a primary opportunity to deepen the co-creative learning experience and to practice the living interdependence of NVC.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT Leveraging Your Influence

“Through BayNVC’s Leveraging Your Influence program, I have become clearer about what I want and have stepped into my power to move towards my vision. I have connected with others and acquired many of the skills/resources needed.” – A.M.

“I am so inspired and surprised to learn so many fine points of distinction of leadership and facilitation so unique to cultivating a nonviolent culture!” -H.H.

“I feel and see the benefits of participating in LYI and learning with Miki every single day, in the way that I relate to myself, and in the ways that I’m more empowered, loving, and a little more brave in the world. The way that Miki teaches and models visionary leadership, love and power in action, is a profound gift.” – U. L.

“I found tremendous support in this workshop for my struggle to own my power and learn possibilities for using NVC consciousness. The activities offered for movement both emotional and physical complimented the lecture material and the demonstrations that Miki gave when offering that material of how to hold everyone’s needs” -A.H.

“This project taps into me continuing to be me!” – G. S.

“Pushed my comfort zone and altered my consciousness for the better! So grateful for such an enriching experience and all the profound wisdom Miki was able to convey to us. Mad some amazing new connections and looking forward to reentering the world with new tools, more love and new inspirations!” -S.M.

“I love being in a community where everyone’s gifts are celebrated, where we have a chance to stretch in ways that fully bring us to life.” -R.W.

“This retreat contributed enormously to my personal growth but in a way that did not inadvertently emphasize a sense of separateness from the whole in the process. It modeled a collaborative power dynamic in its structure, ethos and teaching. And has given me great hope for the future, closure with the past – and greater ease in the present” -G.Q.

“There were things offered here on this retreat that I have found nowhere else and that may enable me to do things and have healing in myself, healing I have sought fruitlessly in other contexts for the better part of forty years.” – S.S.

“Miki’s teaching and example of what’s possible for humanity offers beyond the expected, beyond the obvious to a world undiscovered that beckons us to reach for the moon.” – S.P

Related Course Costs

Room and board costs are in addition to the tuition amount. These are non-negotiable and required by our venue. Facilitation Track participants should plan for an extra day of room and board (May 20 into 21). For long-distance travelers, additional days can be arranged as needed. Commuters are welcome.


$25-35/day for a single or shared room and shared bathroom. Linens provided.


$25/day for 3 catered meals daily. Vegetarian options will be provided, and organic and local ingredients will be used where possible.

How to Register

(Step 1) Click on the “Register Now” button at the top of the page to submit a minimum $300 tuition deposit to hold your space in the course. You may also submit more than the $300 minimum at this time.

(Step 2) Once you have made your deposit, you will receive a confirmation email from BayNVC with a link to a short form requesting further information. Please fill out this form to complete your registration.

A course organizer will then be in touch to finalize or offer support re: travel, payment logistics or any other questions you may have. See BayNVC’s policy re: cancellations and refunds here.

If you have questions about the course, consider joining one of the Info Calls below or contact Linda Conroy at rosemarygoddess@moonwiseherbs.com

Free Informational Q&A Calls

You’re invited to bring questions about the course, facilitation track, logistics, teaching-learning styles, etc. Members of the design/organizing team will host these calls; Miki Kashtan will not be on these calls. Past LYI -E participants from around the country and world are invited to call in and may provide additional perspective too!

Requested NVC Experience

This program is open all, at any level of experience with Nonviolent Communication. We ask that you self-select to attend based on your resonance with (1) the belief that the vision described above can transform your life and the world and (2) a desire within you to play an active role in that transformation.

Requested Contribution

Requested Contribution: $300. This is a minimum deposit to hold your space and will go toward payment of room-and-board. If making a deposit of this amount is not possible at this time, but you would like to attend the program, please contact us at rosemarygoddess@moonwiseherbs.com and we’ll work with you.

Tuition is a separate amount that will be collected at the retreat itself as part of our on-going experiment with gift economy. After exploring the role and function of ‘money’ in a needs-based world, you will have an opportunity to give more or less than the requested tuition amount. Read more about our experiment here. Also, if you are unable to contribute the amount you would like by the time of the retreat, we will be happy to arrange a payment plan with you.

The requested tuition contributions for the retreat (separate from room-and-board) are $850 for the regular retreat or $1100 for the Facilitation Track (an additional 1.5 days and daily working-lunch sessions). These amounts are designed to cover out-of-pocket expenses of holding the retreat (e.g. meeting spaces, trainer airfare and room-and-board) and would allow us to both make this program available to all who want it and gather sufficient income to support Miki’s ability to attend to her own livelihood and the livelihoods of the BayNVC team that supports her work at-large.


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May 15 / 2015
May 21 / 2015
Event Category:


Linda Conroy


Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA-USA)
4750 N. Sheridan Road
Chicago, 60640 United States
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