For the EVOLution of Business

Restoring Wholeness Through Nonviolent Communication with Kit Miller

Episode Summary

After a personal journey and transformation using non-violent communication with herself and her family, Kit Miller became an educator and practitioner to share these principles. In 2009, she joined the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, which was founded by Gandhi's grandson Arun. Kit has been learning about nonviolence and organizing on its behalf for the past 26 years. She draws on Gandhian and Kingian nonviolence, as well as Nonviolent Communication and permaculture, for direction and daily practice and uses the Institute as a learning laboratory for principled nonviolence. She teaches and works on community projects related to restorative justice, sustainability, and anti-racism in Rochester, has taught hundreds of groups world-wide and has spoken about nonviolence at the United Nations on multiple occasions. Tune in to this episode for Kit's insights on: -First, practicing nonviolence with yourself -The nonviolent design principles of permaculture and what they can teach us about leadership -Restorative practices that build trust and community -Becoming an anti-racist organization

Episode Notes

[2:00] Nonviolent communication as a "spiritual discipline and spiritual awareness process masquerading as a communication process...the underlying idea is that all human behavior is an attempt to get our human needs met...We generally don't get into conflict at the level of getting our needs met, but at the level of the strategies we use to meet those needs."

[4:30] Building trust with nonviolent communication - "high trust leads to 'good fights'"

[7:00] Nonviolent communication and compassion for ourselves as leaders

[11:15] Kit's personal journey of nonviolent communication leading to her professional journey

[16:30] Gandhi's personal evolution and the founding of the Gandhi Institute by Gandhi's grandson Arun

[20:30] Kit's leadership of the Gandhi Institute and leaving the University of Rochester campus to integrate into and "be informed by the suffering" of the PLEX neighborhood

[24:15] The intersection of sustainability and social justice - Permaculture as "a set of nonviolent design principles for designing in the way that nature designs...and using those principles for decision-making as a leader...all organizations need to think about sustainability, all organizations need to think about social justice. When we bring that wholeness into our thinking, it informs and uplifts all of us."

[27:45] Restorative practices that are culturally informed as a way to transform school climate, especially at the Rochester City School District: "When there is a genuine sense of trust and a genuine sense of safety, all sorts of amazing things happen in every organization, including schools. When that happens, human beings are set up to succeed."

"Restorative practices are a set of principles that center human beings. 80% of the focus is on relationship building and an orientation toward communal values over productivity...the other 20% relates to when conflicts emerge and a community-based response when violence occurs."

[36:00] Upcoming Workshops at the Gandhi Institute

[40:30] The recent awakening of white people and white leaders - and the path forward

[42:30] Challenging conversations and the anti-racist journey inside the Gandhi Institute

[45:30] Advice for other organizations beginning on the anti-racist journey- balancing being courageous and merciful

Learn more about the Gandhi Institute at: