Karl Steyaert

Language of Report: 
Year of Report: 
Share My Report With: 
General Public (Including Certified Trainers and Certification Candidates)
A. Approximately how many training days did you have this year?: 
B. Briefly list the groups and organizations you worked with this year as a trainer.: 
Seattle Children's Hospital, Monroe Correctional Facility, Freedom Project, Vashon Island NVC Family Camp, Center for Nonviolent Communication, Vitality Pilates
C. Approximately how many people did you offer NVC training to this year?: 
D. What are you celebrating about your training experiences this year? What was significant for you? What touched your heart?: 
I'm greatly celebrating the learning and meaningful contribution of working with Seattle Children's Hospital, a major 4,000 staff hospital in Seattle. I loved the chance to bring NVC to staff there, both because the staff spoke of the experience as an enlivening and supportive one, and also because it gave me such useful experience and confidence in bringing NVC into a large, mainstream institutional setting. I was particularly touched by hearing and seeing how moved people were by the connections they made with one another across racial differences in the trainings I did with hospital staff. Also, i am always so deeply humbled by every experience I have sharing NVC in the prisons. I am regularly in awe of the deep insight and open-heartedness of the men on the inside, as well as by their gratitude for people who volunteer to work with them. This work is some of the most meaningful that I do. I vividly remember an inmate in his 60's showing me a picture of himself when we was 18, the year he came to prison. He had spent more than 2/3's of his life in prison, and the tenderness and aliveness with which he shared old photos with me was both gut-wrenching and deeply humbling. I felt the meaning of what we are able to offer by sharing empathic presence with these men.
E. Would you share some difficult experiences you had while training this year and how you handled them?: 
The most difficult experience I had while training relates to feedback I received from members of the TCCP (the Trainer Candidate Community Program) community. I explain these experiences below, in section I.
F. How do you teach the spiritual basis of Nonviolent Communication in your workshops and training programs? : 
I primarily seek to share the spiritual basis of NVC through embodiment and facilitating experiential learning. Through my words, actions, and attitude, I try to embody values such as empathic presence, compassion, authenticity, respect for the sacredness of all life, transparency, celebration of life, joyful service, power-sharing, and non-attachment to outcome. To offer some examples, my practices include offering people authentic appreciations as they arise, expressing my vulnerability when I sense it will serve connection and learning to do so, making collaborative decisions through open dialogue, and offering trainings as a gift. I also strive to create learning experiences that illuminate these values, as well as offering people a first hand experience of various understandings, including the transformational effect of empathic presence, the universality of human needs, the freedom offered by non-attachment to strategy, etc. In addition, I often reinforce this experiential learning through shared reflection, allowing underlying concepts to be made clear.
G. Please describe your social change goals...: 
I am excited about catalyzing cultural shifts and co-creating transformational communities within which people experience interdependence with all life, and support for their full aliveness, authenticity, and development. This passion takes many forms, including: co-creating intentional communities informed by NVC, Restorative Circles, Dynamic Governance (Sociocracy/Holacracy), and other forms of life-serving consciousness and tools; supporting existing communities and other organizations to integrate life-serving values, and the above-listed forms of consciousness and tools if they so choose; offering multi-day trainings that explicitly invite a high degree of co-creation, typically using an Open Space Technology format; offering all trainings and other services that I organize personally on a gift economy basis; supporting communities to create Restorative Systems and facilitating Restorative Circles, which integrate NVC consciousness and skills; and mentoring people to find their path of passionate contribution in the world. My long-range dream is of a world of interdependent human communities that are ecologically and socially sustainable, interwoven with thriving non-human communities of life. Specifically, I envision a world where: all people receive modeling of, and formal and informal education in, living “interdependence,” through embodied training is approaches such as NVC and Restorative Circles, as well as other forms of emotional intelligence, group process, and conflict transformation; people know their neighbors; the majority of food and goods are produced locally and organically; and energy is clean and renewable. Furthermore, in this world, local communities support all people in meeting their needs for health, nourishment, and shelter; education consists of people receiving support as they explore the gifts they are most passionate about; children are “raised by” the community; people walk or bicycle easily to work; non-human life forms thrive in protected wilderness areas; products are designed to be highly durable, non-toxic and reusable; creativity and play are woven into all life paths and forms of livelihood; mind, body and spirit are all valued as an integrated whole; and a nested holarchy of double-linked governing circles from local to global politics make consent-based decisions about ecological, political, and economic policy. As I review the vision, mission and aim of CNVC, I see the practices and vision I describe above as directly mirroring the larger purpose of CNVC, and I am grateful to have such companionship on this path!
J. Please describe your efforts to create, or join, an NVC circle or organization.: 
I continue to be actively engaged in TCCP (the Trainer Candidate Community Program) with fellow CT and Assessor Kathleen Macferran, as well as in the Northwest Compassionate Communication Trainer Circle.
K. Summarize participants’ evaluations, and how their feedback resulted in new learning or growth for you this past year.: 
I received overall solidly positive feedback on my NVC work this past year. That said, I did receive significantly challenging feedback from a couple of participants in TCCP, relating to ways in which they did not experience me as vulnerable, authentic, or heart-felt in the ways they would have enjoyed. This feedback was initially quite challenging to receive, but through dialogue with these individuals, and extensive introspection, I have come to realize more fully the ways in which, when scared or contracted, I sometimes unconsciously express myself in ways that some people find it hard to sense my vulnerability, authenticity, heart, and humility. I have the sense of being more aware of this pattern, both in general and in the moments when it is arising, and can therefore more easily either name my fear or contraction in the moment or afterward, and sometimes even manage to bring more expansion to the contraction. This is an amazingly rich ongoing exploration and I'm grateful for the learning offered by the feedback.
L. What are your current growing edges or challenges as a trainer that you will be working on in the future?: 
I see at least two current growing edges. One relates to the above reflections: I see myself as continuing to explore deeper moment-to-moment self-connection, such that every day I can be living with fuller authenticity and aliveness, as well as self-care. Much of the time, this self-connection leads me to slow down and realize the importance of "being" rather than simply "doing". I imagine this will be an ongoing exploration. Another growing edge is getting more clear and focused in the social change projects I am engaging with, including setting up systems and collaboration so that I can more effectively and powerfully contribute to the people and organizations I work with.
M. If you found opportunities to work with other trainers this year, please share the most meaningful experiences for you.: 
I continue to work closely with Kathleen Macferran, particularly with the TCCP community, but also in offering each other regular empathic support for our various projects. Kathleen's friendship and collaboration offers endless heart-expansion and learning for which I'm deeply grateful. I co-facilitated a Restorative Circle event with Dominic Barter and Duke Duchscherer. Working with Dominic consistently offers more insight and inspiration than almost any experience I can think of, as he has a subtlety of awareness of consciousness and systems of power which I find unparalleled in the NVC community, and beyond. I also greatly enjoyed some work I did with Rita Herzog and the CNVC Office staff. I was so glad to get to know this team, and to feel a much deeper personal connection to CNVC.
N. Is there anything else you would enjoy sharing with the CNVC network?: 
I am so grateful to be a part of this profoundly meaningful community and work in the world!

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