I. Summarize participants’ evaluations, and how their feedback resulted in new learning or growth for you this past year.:
Participants’ evaluations typically described celebration of learning and inspiration, and particularly emphasized appreciation for two things: 1) walking the talk by embodying compassion and empathy; and 2) playful, experiential learning opportunities. As I mentioned above, my most clearly challenging feedback came from a session I offered, entitled “Freestyle NVC”, which left some participants confused or frustrated. I have reflected extensively on this experience and how I might have: 1) communicated more clearly before and at the beginning of the session to insure that those present had a full understanding of and willingness to participate in the more emergent, co-created experience; 2) remained more self-connected in the moment such that I might have been more present to the pain and confusion of participants, and then supported them in identifying needs and making requests; 3) communicated and collaborated more effectively and openly with the people in the session. I recognize that one of the biggest learning opportunities for me was realizing that I was quite mentally and emotionally exhausted from 4 months of full time teaching when I offered the session, and that planning for more rest and integration time would have greatly supported my presence in the session.
J. What are your current growing edges or challenges as a trainer that you will be working on in the future?:
I see my main growing edge is to stay more fully present and self-connected during the course of a training. When “challenge” arises, I would like to be more fully able to connect with any distress that may be arising for me, while also attending to the needs present for others in the group. In addition to having this general intention, two of the practices that I see as supporting me are: 1) to transform self-limiting beliefs such as “I need to have everything under control when I’m facilitating a group” or “It’s my fault if people get upset during a training and I have to cure them of their upset as quickly possible”; and 2) planning for self-care, self-connection, and external empathic support (if needed) prior to a training, to insure that I am well internally resourced and supported during the training itself.
K. If you found opportunities to work with other trainers this year, please share the most meaningful experiences for you.:
When in India, I had the opportunity to offer trainings alongside NVC trainers Karsten Schacht-Petersen and Shantigarbha at the NVC Camp in Auroville. I particularly remember lively and rich explorations with Karsten about how to live and teach in congruence with the principles and spirit of NVC. I so appreciated how passionately Karsten held to his values, while also extending understanding to where I was coming from on the topic. Thanks, Karsten!