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Leveraging Your Influence Using NVC – 2015 East Coast Retreat in New York

October 23 / 2015 - October 29 / 2015


Can you imagine living NVC so fully that all the people you meet each day are affected by its profound gifts?

Can you imagine being your most powerful, loving, and authentic self in every moment and feeling excited to bring that freedom to everyone around you?

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

This program features two immersion-learning retreats practicing visionary leadership with Miki Kashtan with an additional day and a half (per retreat) for participants in the Leadership in Facilitation Track

2015 Dates

Friday, October 23-Wednesday/Thursday, 28/29, 2015


The Abode
New Lebanon, NY

About the Program

The vision of Leveraging Your Influence is to accelerate the transition to a needs-based world by actively integrating the three aspects of nonviolence — love, truth, and courage – into the very fabric of our everyday lives so they can serve as the foundation and organizing principle of our relationships and work in the world.

To ‘leverage our influence’ is to access our own power and capacity for visionary leadership; to lead by example with care and empathy in service of creating a world that serves life at home, at work, in whatever context. We do this by being ready to transform conflict into deeper mutual understanding; to build effective collaborations (and stronger families, communities, and organizations), and to manifest our vision for ourselves and the world in creative ways that consider the needs of all.

Each retreat delves deeply into two major learning areas:

The first focuses on building up the internal foundations that make it possible for us to step into leadership in all areas of life: self-acceptance, acceptance, vulnerability, inner freedom, choice, and power. In addition to illuminating instruction and discussion; we explore body-based and gesture-based exercises that help you access self-connection and self-empathy to move toward action – even while carrying limiting beliefs, facing obstacles, or experiencing pain.

The second explores the practical aspects of visionary leadership: engaging with others in authentic and caring ways; expressing power and care in group settings; and creating change in ever-growing circles in society and culture at-large – with the purpose of meeting the most needs for the most people. We focus on real-life situations in which using NVC can move us and our environment closer to the dream of a needs-based world, and practice expressing this consciousness more spontaneously, authentically, and naturally, in contexts and language relevant to you.

Co-creative Learning

The experience of each gathering is co-created by Miki and all the participants. Miki aims to model her vision of collaborative leadership, including occasionally functioning as a member of the community; inviting others to hold the whole. Much of the time, leading this group means attending to the emerging needs of participants in real-time and harnessing that energy to support the goals of the program. Participants contribute real-life issues and all are invited into a radical level of honesty and vulnerability around learning goals, shared leadership, feedback, and issues of money, inclusion, and potentially different levels of commitment to living nonviolence.


  • Immersion learning in a co-created environment that encourages and requests self-connection and stepping into leadership:
  • Exercises that help you access self-connection and self-empathy to move toward action and leadership;
  • Role-plays and coaching that build your capacity to speak from your heart and:
    • build trust and connection in difficult conversations
    • generate willingness to collaborate in groups
    • experience freedom to want what you want fully and stay committed to strategies that work for all when seeking change;
  • Focus on naturalizing NVC to contexts relevant to you and expanding the application of NVC beyond the specific focus on any particular forms of speech;
  • Facilitators’ track and personalized coaching from Miki;
  • Access to a growing community of compassionate change-makers and ongoing support for leveraging your influence in the world.

On Power and Privilege

As part of our evolving exploration of leadership and power, we are beginning to include content regarding power and privilege, generally, and how differences in power/privilege are intertwined with race and ethnicity, specifically. Our intention is to catalyze a process of transforming patterns of avoidance, powerlessness, or paralysis into willingness and capacity to step into leadership in these areas; recognizing that taking on issues of power and privilege 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 work with whatever emotions may arise: despair, resentment, anger, blame, confusion, guilt, shame; and to bring empathic presence and authentic self-responsible expression to our interactions.

Leadership in Facilitation Track (FT)

Individuals with special interest in leading groups and organizations collaboratively and from a spirit of service 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 time with Miki, along with one-on-one and group coaching, there is focus on immediate opportunities to apply new learning and share leadership with Miki in this retreat 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.

Miki Kashtan is a co-founder of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication (BayNVC) and has taught NVC on five continents. She is inspired by the role of visionary leadership in shaping a livable future, and works toward that vision by sharing the principles and practices of Nonviolent Communication through mediation, meeting facilitation, consulting, retreats, and training for organizations and committed individuals. Miki blogs at The Fearless Heart and her articles have appeared in Tikkun magazine, Waging Nonviolence, Shareable, , and elsewhere. Her first book, Spinning Threads of Radical Aliveness: Transcending the Legacy of Separation in Our Individual Lives will be available in April 2014. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Berkeley.

You may enjoy watching:
10-minute video interview of Miki Kashtan discussing empathy.

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.

“LYI was a safe space for me to uncover my blocks and work through them with support and transformative exercises.” – E.S.

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

“I so enjoyed Miki’s perspectives on power & leadership, her distinctions and clarity — I feel inspired to know a way to live that feels more whole and connected.”

“Miki shared verbally and also modeled many things every day that I hope to take into my life as empowering learnings, questions to explore, ways of seeing… There is not enough space here to say even 5% of what I have received…” – P.K.

“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.

“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 Kashtan makes NVC accessible, interesting, and broadly applicable. She has opened my mind and heart in life changing ways.” – L.B.

“The learning impacted me on many levels and was so rich. I didn’t learn about just one topic. I was being taught how to live, from my source.” – J.D.

“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.

“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 host venue.

In the past, room and board averaged around $500 for the regular retreat (5 nights); commuter fees are less. The room and boarding rates will be posted soon

Room assignments are subject to availability. If you plan to stay the extra night for the facilitator track, or if you want to arrive the night before due to travel, addition fees apply at the same rates. Roommates can be requested or will be assigned. Accommodations include delicious vegetarian meals.
Note: Please let us know about specific dietary needs or restrictions.

Limited opportunities for work trade at the Abode may be available for room and board only (not tuition). For more information, contact the volunteercoordinator@theabode.net or call 518-794-8095 and ask for that extension.

Course Manual

An electronic version of the Program Booklet (~180+ pages) will be emailed in advance. A hard copy can be printed for participants of the LYI-East at a cost of $30 (by request only). Some participants elect to save paper and the cost of printing by bringing the booklet with them on an electronic device (wireless internet service is available at The Abode).

How to Register

(Part 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.

(Part 2) Once you have made your deposit, you will receive email from one of the design team members with a link to a short form requesting further information. Once this form is completed, you will be registered.

See BayNVC’s policy re: cancellations and refunds here

If you have questions about the course, we are happy to talk with you. Email Sarah

Informational Q&A Calls

Consider joining us for an informal Q&A on the following dates. You’re invited to bring questions about the course: for example, regular tract vs. 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 are invited to call in and may provide additional perspective too!

Dates will be posted after February 2015


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October 23 / 2015
October 29 / 2015
Event Category:


The Abode of the Message
5 Abode Road
New Lebanon, 12125 United States
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