Helping Nonprofit Leaders Transform Conflict

Leadership Coach and Mediator

Big pitbull rolling over my shoes

It’s early in the morning and I’m out on my daily walk. A big pitbull walks up to me, then crouches down on the ground as if she’s ready to attack me. Her jaws look incredibly big and I imagine her biggest aspiration is to grind her teeth in my juicy calves.

But the dog lady seems friendly enough and tells me that her dog is super sweet. Her calm confidence reassures me that she can manage the dog if it becomes aggressive.

I need that reassurance, especially after I was chased by a pitbull for more than 10 minutes a few years ago. Fortunately, I biked faster than he ran, but only barely. I’m just saying, there is some reality behind my assumption that pitbulls are aggressive.

But I also know that one experience is too small a sample to make any valid statistical inferences, so I’m willing to challenge my assumption and let this pitbull walk up to me.

I am happy I did. She pees on the ground out of excitement and her wagging tail shakes her body left to right. Then she rolls over on her back and offers her belly to be petted.

When the dog lady is ready to leave, the dog nests herself against my calves, unwilling to go anywhere. ”You have a forever friend in her”.

And so does she in me. Not only did she give me a big booster in positive emotions, but she also shattered my assumptions about pitbulls.

Challenging our assumptions is a key element of learning according to Chris Argyris. And it is super hard because we are unaware of them by default. We can only become aware of them when they bump into our current reality and leave us clueless about what’s going on.

When that happens, coaching can be very helpful. In that safe and accepting environment, you can explore your assumptions without being judged, criticized, or shamed for your biases.

With the help of an outside, neutral perspective, you might realize that what you always believed to be true, is not true at all. Maybe your filter for the world stops you from pursuing more meaningful goals and seeing new opportunities.

One of them could be a big pitbull rolling over your feet to be petted. Another is to experience more freedom, fulfillment, and joy in the work you do.

Schedule a discovery session if you want to see how coaching might help you.

P.S. In the attachment you can read a short introduction to the work of Chris Argyris on Organizational Learning. I believe this can be one of the most meaningful contributions to your effectiveness as a leader.

One sure way to harm your close relationships

Everything in our new rental is nice, shiny, and white. It is so brand new that I hardly dare sit on the couch, scared that my garden feet might stain the cover, even after I have washed them.

But the kitchen knife is too cool not to use. It screams at me “Pick me! Pick me to cut the onion!”

And so I do. It slices the onion as if it is thin air. No resistance at all. And so it does with the tip of my left middle finger.

Within a second I see blood running on the spic-and-span kitchen tiles like the Niagara falls. It takes almost an entire package of bandages to soak it up. I can’t use my finger for a week.

It would have been so much more practical if I had cut my left pinkie. As much as I love my pinkie, doing daily tasks such as brushing my teeth, making my food, and unpacking our boxes would not have been such a hassle if that had been the one that had a sliver of skin cut off.

But of course, that’s precisely the reason why I didn’t cut my left pinkie. The things we use the least, get harmed the least, precisely because we don’t use them so much.

And conversely, things that we use the most, get scratched, stained, and broken the most. Whether it is our middle finger, our favorite teacup, or our cherished fountain pen. 

Or our closest relationships, the people who are our go-to strategy to meet our interdependent needs.

Life is wonderful when they are available to meet our needs for support, acceptance, understanding, emotional safety, and trust. But it gets messy when they prioritize other commitments over connection with us. Then we easily end up with feelings of anger, sadness, or anxiety.

This is especially true when we are undifferentiated, a term David Schnarch, the author of Passionate Marriage, uses to describe a relationship where we either want to assimilate with the other person or try to keep the other person at arm’s length to prevent being swallowed up.

Either strategy is lose-lose.

He writes “Giving up your individuality to be together is as defeating in the long run as giving up your relationship to maintain your individuality. Either way, you end up being less of a person with less of a relationship.”

One way to get out of this bind is to accept that although they are our favorite strategy to meet our needs, we can find alternative ways to meet them.

But be careful! It’s important to understand the difference between strategies and needs. Otherwise what we think is a bandaid for our relationship, is actually a knife that pokes holes in the boat of our togetherness, dragging us down the Niagara falls of conflict.

If you want to learn more about how to prevent that, you can read my whitepaper “Nonviolent Communication in a Nutshell”. Download it here.

P.S. Read more about the Crucible Institute that David Schnarch established.

P.P.S. We will be at 615 East 48 Street, Austin, TX 78751 till September 1. My phone and email stay the same: 512-589-0482 | elly@ellyvanlaar.com.

What a prom dress has to do with mental decluttering

After 38 years, I finally donate the prom dress that I made 38 years ago to Austin Creative Reuse. It is a gorgeous dress designed by Nina Ricci. I started tucking it in after I lost weight, but I never finished the project. It is highly unlikely that I ever will.

I also give them the handspun Irish wool that I bought at the Aran Islands in 2004. Three times I unraveled the sweater I had started to knit. I hope that someone else will use it to make their dream sweater.

But I am gonna keep the rest of my yarn and fabric: just looking at them brings me delight. And my crayons and watercolors. My books and precious objects. And of course, practical stuff like clothing and kitchen utensils.

We are packing to move to a rental 60% the size of our current one and I have no excitement to schlepp around stuff that won’t fit in our new space. Let alone pay for storage. So it’s Konmarie time: keep what sparks joy and give away what doesn’t.

Moving is a wonderful opportunity to let go of projects, plans, and intentions that don’t have the excitement they once had. As a result, you end up with only those that do.

Research says that creating order reduces the stress hormone cortisol and helps with focus, self-esteem, relationships, health, and well-being.

But decluttering can be hard, especially when you get older, are a perfectionist who has trouble starting and stopping projects, or a people person who would rather spend time with and for other people.

If decluttering physical possessions is hard, mental decluttering is even harder. We cannot take our unuseful or ugly thoughts out of our head and put them out on the curb. And who would want them anyway?

That’s where cognitive defusion comes in handy, a term coined by Stephen Hayes, the founder of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. It is a practice to notice our thoughts without being defined by them.

Instead of thinking “I am not enough”, we label it as “I have a thought that I am not enough.” It is much easier to let go of what we have than who we are. 

When we de-identify from our thoughts we can start our mental decluttering. We ask ourselves which of our thoughts bring joy, which don’t, and which needs are being met or unmet by them.

The only tricky thing is that many of us confuse needs with strategies. And then the answer to those questions becomes murky. If you want to read how to stay in the clear, download my whitepaper about needs here.

P.S. Thank you Andrea and Gene, Jill, Jim, Matt, Michael, Miles, and Tom for helping with the schlepping around. We couldn’t have made it without you!

P.P.S. Read more about Stephen Hayes and ACTP.

P.P.P.S Read the New York Times article about Mental Health Benefits of Decluttering.

Here’s one good reason to blame and bitch as much as you want

Our lease won’t be renewed. By April 30, we have to move out of the home we’ve lived in for the last seven and a half years.

My mind goes into overdrive and is bombed with angry thoughts, judgments, blame, and enemy images about the whole situation. Feelings of shame volunteer as the red button for a nuclear missile, ready to destroy whatever is in the way.

Despite 11 years of practicing mindfulness, my loving-kindness for our shared humanity flies out the window like a white balloon trying to defend itself against the missile.

I bitch, blame, and complain with my younger sister. And my older sister. With my best friend. And another best friend. My neighbors. My mindfulness community.

It’s a soap opera of jackal shows, as Marshall Rosenberg would call it. He used jackal puppets to represent that part of ourselves that thinks, speaks, or acts in ways that disconnect us from our awareness of our feelings and needs, as well as the feelings and needs of others.

The jackal doesn’t have a lot of empathy for others nor for ourselves. It rather points out what’s wrong with everyone. It divides the world into good guys and bad ones, victims and perpetrators. Usually, the jackal places us in the first camp, but not always.

To symbolize empathy, Marshall Rosenberg used the giraffe. With its big heart, it has the capacity to love everyone. And its long neck helps it to see the beautiful, universal, human needs of everyone.

But sometimes jackals are all we have. If they take over the stage of our mind, we need giraffes in the audience to translate the bitching, blaming, and complaining into precious, beautiful, universal, human needs.

Fortunately, my family and friends are up for the challenge. And with each conversation, my jackals relax. They are being heard for their precious needs in their tragic expression of unmet needs. The threat of a local nuclear war dissipates.

When we see and accept the needs in our bitching, blaming, and complaining, we can make requests of ourselves or others. And requests have a higher likelihood to get people excited to meet those needs than guilt-tripping, blaming, or shaming them.

If you have your own jackal show running on Broadway, you want to sell tickets to a giraffe audience that can translate your script about what’s wrong with everyone into a script about what would make your life more beautiful.

But pay attention! Some jackals dress up like giraffes and instead of offering empathy, they offer sympathy, one-upping, commiserating, consoling, or advising.

That’s why we start each Leadership Circle for Nonprofit Leaders by agreeing that we bring giraffes to empathize.

After all, we don’t want to blow up our theater by feeding angry thoughts, judgments, blame, enemy images, and shame till they explode.

In the first week of May, we start a new circle. Six bi-weekly sessions, max eight participants.

Schedule your free discovery session to check that your giraffes follow our dress code.

Marshall Rosenberg is the founder of Nonviolent Communication. Watch this video in which he explains the jackal show.

Our lease won’t be renewed. By April 30, we have to move out of the home we’ve lived in for the last seven and a half years.

My mind goes into overdrive and is bombed with angry thoughts, judgments, blame, and enemy images about the whole situation. Feelings of shame volunteer as the red button for a nuclear missile, ready to destroy whatever is in the way.

Despite 11 years of practicing mindfulness, my loving-kindness for our shared humanity flies out the window like a white balloon trying to defend itself against the missile.

I bitch, blame, and complain with my younger sister. And my older sister. With my best friend. And another best friend. My neighbors. My mindfulness community.

It’s a soap opera of jackal shows, as Marshall Rosenberg would call it. He used jackal puppets to represent that part of ourselves that thinks, speaks, or acts in ways that disconnect us from our awareness of our feelings and needs, as well as the feelings and needs of others.

The jackal doesn’t have a lot of empathy for others nor for ourselves. It rather points out what’s wrong with everyone. It divides the world into good guys and bad ones, victims and perpetrators. Usually, the jackal places us in the first camp, but not always.

To symbolize empathy, Marshall Rosenberg used the giraffe. With its big heart, it has the capacity to love everyone. And its long neck helps it to see the beautiful, universal, human needs of everyone.

But sometimes jackals are all we have. If they take over the stage of our mind, we need giraffes in the audience to translate the bitching, blaming, and complaining into precious, beautiful, universal, human needs.

Fortunately, my family and friends are up for the challenge. And with each conversation, my jackals relax. They are being heard for their precious needs in their tragic expression of unmet needs. The threat of a local nuclear war dissipates.

When we see and accept the needs in our bitching, blaming, and complaining, we can make requests of ourselves or others. And requests have a higher likelihood to get people excited to meet those needs than guilt-tripping, blaming, or shaming them.

If you have your own jackal show running on Broadway, you want to sell tickets to a giraffe audience that can translate your script about what’s wrong with everyone into a script about what would make your life more beautiful.

But pay attention! Some jackals dress up like giraffes and instead of offering empathy, they offer sympathy, one-upping, commiserating, consoling, or advising.

That’s why we start each Leadership Circle for Nonprofit Leaders by agreeing that we bring giraffes to empathize.

After all, we don’t want to blow up our theater by feeding angry thoughts, judgments, blame, enemy images, and shame till they explode.

In the first week of May, we start a new circle. Six bi-weekly sessions, max eight participants.

Schedule your free discovery session to check that your giraffes follow our dress code.

Marshall Rosenberg is the founder of Nonviolent Communication. Watch this video in which he explains the jackal show.

Our lease won’t be renewed. By April 30, we have to move out of the home we’ve lived in for the last seven and a half years.

My mind goes into overdrive and is bombed with angry thoughts, judgments, blame, and enemy images about the whole situation. Feelings of shame volunteer as the red button for a nuclear missile, ready to destroy whatever is in the way.

Despite 11 years of practicing mindfulness, my loving-kindness for our shared humanity flies out the window like a white balloon trying to defend itself against the missile.

I bitch, blame, and complain with my younger sister. And my older sister. With my best friend. And another best friend. My neighbors. My mindfulness community.

It’s a soap opera of jackal shows, as Marshall Rosenberg would call it. He used jackal puppets to represent that part of ourselves that thinks, speaks, or acts in ways that disconnect us from our awareness of our feelings and needs, as well as the feelings and needs of others.

The jackal doesn’t have a lot of empathy for others nor for ourselves. It rather points out what’s wrong with everyone. It divides the world into good guys and bad ones, victims and perpetrators. Usually, the jackal places us in the first camp, but not always.

To symbolize empathy, Marshall Rosenberg used the giraffe. With its big heart, it has the capacity to love everyone. And its long neck helps it to see the beautiful, universal, human needs of everyone.

But sometimes jackals are all we have. If they take over the stage of our mind, we need giraffes in the audience to translate the bitching, blaming, and complaining into precious, beautiful, universal, human needs.

Fortunately, my family and friends are up for the challenge. And with each conversation, my jackals relax. They are being heard for their precious needs in their tragic expression of unmet needs. The threat of a local nuclear war dissipates.

When we see and accept the needs in our bitching, blaming, and complaining, we can make requests of ourselves or others. And requests have a higher likelihood to get people excited to meet those needs than guilt-tripping, blaming, or shaming them.

If you have your own jackal show running on Broadway, you want to sell tickets to a giraffe audience that can translate your script about what’s wrong with everyone into a script about what would make your life more beautiful.

But pay attention! Some jackals dress up like giraffes and instead of offering empathy, they offer sympathy, one-upping, commiserating, consoling, or advising.

That’s why we start each Leadership Circle for Nonprofit Leaders by agreeing that we bring giraffes to empathize.

After all, we don’t want to blow up our theater by feeding angry thoughts, judgments, blame, enemy images, and shame till they explode.

In the first week of May, we start a new circle. Six bi-weekly sessions, max eight participants.

Schedule your free discovery session to check that your giraffes follow our dress code.

Marshall Rosenberg is the founder of Nonviolent Communication. Watch this video in which he explains the jackal show.

Our lease won’t be renewed. By April 30, we have to move out of the home we’ve lived in for the last seven and a half years.

My mind goes into overdrive and is bombed with angry thoughts, judgments, blame, and enemy images about the whole situation. Feelings of shame volunteer as the red button for a nuclear missile, ready to destroy whatever is in the way.

Despite 11 years of practicing mindfulness, my loving-kindness for our shared humanity flies out the window like a white balloon trying to defend itself against the missile.

I bitch, blame, and complain with my younger sister. And my older sister. With my best friend. And another best friend. My neighbors. My mindfulness community.

It’s a soap opera of jackal shows, as Marshall Rosenberg would call it. He used jackal puppets to represent that part of ourselves that thinks, speaks, or acts in ways that disconnect us from our awareness of our feelings and needs, as well as the feelings and needs of others.

The jackal doesn’t have a lot of empathy for others nor for ourselves. It rather points out what’s wrong with everyone. It divides the world into good guys and bad ones, victims and perpetrators. Usually, the jackal places us in the first camp, but not always.

To symbolize empathy, Marshall Rosenberg used the giraffe. With its big heart, it has the capacity to love everyone. And its long neck helps it to see the beautiful, universal, human needs of everyone.

But sometimes jackals are all we have. If they take over the stage of our mind, we need giraffes in the audience to translate the bitching, blaming, and complaining into precious, beautiful, universal, human needs.

Fortunately, my family and friends are up for the challenge. And with each conversation, my jackals relax. They are being heard for their precious needs in their tragic expression of unmet needs. The threat of a local nuclear war dissipates.

When we see and accept the needs in our bitching, blaming, and complaining, we can make requests of ourselves or others. And requests have a higher likelihood to get people excited to meet those needs than guilt-tripping, blaming, or shaming them.

If you have your own jackal show running on Broadway, you want to sell tickets to a giraffe audience that can translate your script about what’s wrong with everyone into a script about what would make your life more beautiful.

But pay attention! Some jackals dress up like giraffes and instead of offering empathy, they offer sympathy, one-upping, commiserating, consoling, or advising.

That’s why we start each Leadership Circle for Nonprofit Leaders by agreeing that we bring giraffes to empathize.

After all, we don’t want to blow up our theater by feeding angry thoughts, judgments, blame, enemy images, and shame till they explode.

In the first week of May, we start a new circle. Six bi-weekly sessions, max eight participants.

Schedule your free discovery session to check that your giraffes follow our dress code.

Marshall Rosenberg is the founder of Nonviolent Communication. Watch this video in which he explains the jackal show.

Our lease won’t be renewed. By April 30, we have to move out of the home we’ve lived in for the last seven and a half years.

My mind goes into overdrive and is bombed with angry thoughts, judgments, blame, and enemy images about the whole situation. Feelings of shame volunteer as the red button for a nuclear missile, ready to destroy whatever is in the way.

Despite 11 years of practicing mindfulness, my loving-kindness for our shared humanity flies out the window like a white balloon trying to defend itself against the missile.

I bitch, blame, and complain with my younger sister. And my older sister. With my best friend. And another best friend. My neighbors. My mindfulness community.

It’s a soap opera of jackal shows, as Marshall Rosenberg would call it. He used jackal puppets to represent that part of ourselves that thinks, speaks, or acts in ways that disconnect us from our awareness of our feelings and needs, as well as the feelings and needs of others.

The jackal doesn’t have a lot of empathy for others nor for ourselves. It rather points out what’s wrong with everyone. It divides the world into good guys and bad ones, victims and perpetrators. Usually, the jackal places us in the first camp, but not always.

To symbolize empathy, Marshall Rosenberg used the giraffe. With its big heart, it has the capacity to love everyone. And its long neck helps it to see the beautiful, universal, human needs of everyone.

But sometimes jackals are all we have. If they take over the stage of our mind, we need giraffes in the audience to translate the bitching, blaming, and complaining into precious, beautiful, universal, human needs.

Fortunately, my family and friends are up for the challenge. And with each conversation, my jackals relax. They are being heard for their precious needs in their tragic expression of unmet needs. The threat of a local nuclear war dissipates.

When we see and accept the needs in our bitching, blaming, and complaining, we can make requests of ourselves or others. And requests have a higher likelihood to get people excited to meet those needs than guilt-tripping, blaming, or shaming them.

If you have your own jackal show running on Broadway, you want to sell tickets to a giraffe audience that can translate your script about what’s wrong with everyone into a script about what would make your life more beautiful.

But pay attention! Some jackals dress up like giraffes and instead of offering empathy, they offer sympathy, one-upping, commiserating, consoling, or advising.

That’s why we start each Leadership Circle for Nonprofit Leaders by agreeing that we bring giraffes to empathize.

After all, we don’t want to blow up our theater by feeding angry thoughts, judgments, blame, enemy images, and shame till they explode.

In the first week of May, we start a new circle. Six bi-weekly sessions, max eight participants.

Schedule your free discovery session to check that your giraffes follow our dress code.

Marshall Rosenberg is the founder of Nonviolent Communication. Watch this video in which he explains the jackal show.

Our lease won’t be renewed. By April 30, we have to move out of the home we’ve lived in for the last seven and a half years.

My mind goes into overdrive and is bombed with angry thoughts, judgments, blame, and enemy images about the whole situation. Feelings of shame volunteer as the red button for a nuclear missile, ready to destroy whatever is in the way.

Despite 11 years of practicing mindfulness, my loving-kindness for our shared humanity flies out the window like a white balloon trying to defend itself against the missile.

I bitch, blame, and complain with my younger sister. And my older sister. With my best friend. And another best friend. My neighbors. My mindfulness community.

It’s a soap opera of jackal shows, as Marshall Rosenberg would call it. He used jackal puppets to represent that part of ourselves that thinks, speaks, or acts in ways that disconnect us from our awareness of our feelings and needs, as well as the feelings and needs of others.

The jackal doesn’t have a lot of empathy for others nor for ourselves. It rather points out what’s wrong with everyone. It divides the world into good guys and bad ones, victims and perpetrators. Usually, the jackal places us in the first camp, but not always.

To symbolize empathy, Marshall Rosenberg used the giraffe. With its big heart, it has the capacity to love everyone. And its long neck helps it to see the beautiful, universal, human needs of everyone.

But sometimes jackals are all we have. If they take over the stage of our mind, we need giraffes in the audience to translate the bitching, blaming, and complaining into precious, beautiful, universal, human needs.

Fortunately, my family and friends are up for the challenge. And with each conversation, my jackals relax. They are being heard for their precious needs in their tragic expression of unmet needs. The threat of a local nuclear war dissipates.

When we see and accept the needs in our bitching, blaming, and complaining, we can make requests of ourselves or others. And requests have a higher likelihood to get people excited to meet those needs than guilt-tripping, blaming, or shaming them.

If you have your own jackal show running on Broadway, you want to sell tickets to a giraffe audience that can translate your script about what’s wrong with everyone into a script about what would make your life more beautiful.

But pay attention! Some jackals dress up like giraffes and instead of offering empathy, they offer sympathy, one-upping, commiserating, consoling, or advising.

That’s why we start each Leadership Circle for Nonprofit Leaders by agreeing that we bring giraffes to empathize.

After all, we don’t want to blow up our theater by feeding angry thoughts, judgments, blame, enemy images, and shame till they explode.

In the first week of May, we start a new circle. Six bi-weekly sessions, max eight participants.

Schedule your free discovery session to check that your giraffes follow our dress code.

Marshall Rosenberg is the founder of Nonviolent Communication. Watch this video in which he explains the jackal show.

This is how hairspray in your armpit can help with your sense of community

I’m getting ready for my first in-person meeting with my fellow mediators since the start of the Covid-lockdown in 2020.

Meeting in person requires a different prep than meeting on Zoom or with a mask. No garlicky hummus for breakfast. Flossing my teeth to remove celery leftovers. Ironing my skirt.

And putting on deodorant to prevent yucky body odors. I haven’t used the deodorant in a while as I’ve been home most of the time. So I feel surprised that it smells like my hairspray.

I don’t think much of it, till I’m on my bike. All of a sudden I realize that it is hairspray. On my last trip I had filled the travel bottle, that I normally fill with deodorant, with hairspray.

In my eagerness to be on time, I didn’t pay attention. I was too excited to finally see my friends in their fullness and not just as two-dimensional faces in a square box.

Fortunately, the bike ride is only five minutes and it’s barely 80 degrees. Not enough to trigger a sweat, so the deodorant wouldn’t have made much of an impact.

What does make an impact are the smiles, hugs, “Hey, can you pass the pizza”, and talking and laughing with the people left and right of me.

Meeting in person is so much richer than virtually. It’s easier to use our sight and hearing to understand someone’s experience. We can convey closeness by handshakes and hugs. We see our shared humanity when we pass the bowl of chocolate around.

That’s why the second leadership circle for nonprofit leaders will be in person too. We start in the first week of May.

Current participants appreciate the warmth and closeness that comes from being in physical proximity and value the community-building component.

They find relief in hearing that they are not alone and that their peers are experiencing the same challenges as they do. Seeing the common threads in those challenges inspires fresh perspectives. They value a sense of peace, knowing that others are struggling with similar issues.

Now, this is not for everyone. For one, this circle is only for nonprofit leaders in middle or upper management. For two, it takes the right personality to get something out of this type of group.

That’s why you can schedule a free discovery session to see if you have that kind of personality.

Schedule your free discovery session.

P.S. I might bring vegan pizza to the first meeting. And I promise that I will use the right deodorant.

“It’s okay to be white.” Really?!

There’s a Ziploc bag on our lawn. With a stone in it. And a leaflet. “You don’t have to feel guilty because you’re white”.

I see one on my neighbor’s lawn too. And on Gloria’s. And Gregg’s. And Matt and Mei’s, and their four and six-year-old daughters. I pick them up one by one, I don’t want the girls to accidentally see them.

Some have the most egregiously racist cartoons I have ever seen. Worse than the ones I’ve seen from the early 1900s. Some have a swastika. A white mother, her blond hair braided in typical nazi style, holding a white baby. Underneath it: “Stop white genocide”. Sender: the Aryan Freedom Network.

My amygdala is running in overdrive, triggering my flight reaction. My prefrontal cortex and hippocampus are taking a back seat.

I text some trusted neighbors for advice. Within minutes, it is reported to the police and the Anti-Defamation League. Two hours later we have an impromptu neighborhood gathering with our council member Kathie Tovo.

When I arrive, I see some 40 people in the circle. Kathie shares that we are not the first neighborhood to be hit with these hate bombs. My neighbors respond resolutely that we will do what it takes to keep our neighborhood free from hate, racism, and white supremacy.

When I summarize what everyone has said, it is clear which actions we agree on.

We put up signs “Neighbors United Against Hate” and “All Are Welcome, Except White Supremacists”. A group app is created to keep each other informed. We reach out to those most at risk. A meet-and-greet is adopted as common practice.

When I leave, I feel so grateful that we came together to listen to each other, generate new ideas, and came up with a plan.

You too might benefit from the wisdom of others: your neighbors in the nonprofit world.

Your rock will be different than mine.

It can be a CEO who is constantly pushing through new policies and pushing out your colleagues as a result. Or the nagging thought that you don’t bring enough of yourself to your team. Or the hours you spend to resolve conflict within your team.

But like the Ziploc bags, there are overall similarities between them.

Wouldn’t it be nice to talk to people who have had a similar experience? Someone who can listen and maybe share how they responded?

Coming together won’t change your situation, but it can be so empowering and relieving to know you’re not alone.

The Leadership Circles for nonprofit leaders offer that. In April I start a new one. Contact me if you have an interest.

Schedule your interview here.