Strong Kindness: How can we respond skillfully to dominating behavior?

Is your kindness taken for weakness? How can you get others to stop behaviors that are controlling, manipulative, or dominating – without adopting those behaviors yourself? This summer, pro-social behavior practitioner Zuzana Žilková teamed with The Center for Partnership Studies to present the 4-part workshop: Strong Kindness: Practicing Skillful Responses to Dominating Behavior. This integrative workshop offered a wealth of skills and concepts to help participants confidently engage in interpersonal encounters with dominating approaches, while remaining firmly in an ethos of partnership.

Listen to the recording/video of the July 18, 2017 introductory webinar: Strong Kindness: Skillful Responses to Dominating Behavior.

Fall, 2017 workshop dates TBA

Many of us want to lead with kindness and want all our relationships to be based in care and equality. But what happens when we encounter others who use manipulation, control, coercion, and domination to try to accomplish their goals? Those of us who care deeply about not harming others can find it extremely difficult to confidently ask others to stop their controlling or dominating behaviors, and we too-often find ourselves emerging from these interactions feeling put down, hurt, ashamed or just plain ineffective.

At their worst, unskilled interactions with dominating approaches can even undermine our faith in using empathy and caring as our guiding stars.

Zuzana Žilková, an experienced practitioner in pro-social behavioral change, will present key concepts and practices that will support you in standing strong in kindness, even in the face of very unkind behaviors.

This workshop is for you:

  • If you err on the side of being kind…
  • If you’ve been in interactions where you felt you had to armor up, emotionally disengage, wear a ‘mask’, or just couldn’t be your full caring self because others were setting a hostile interaction…
  • If you want to learn to be effective in situations where you formerly felt shut down or not heard because you didn’t want to use and perpetuate the same tactics you didn’t like being used against you…

In this course, developed especially for those that lead with their care, empathy, and kindness, Zuzana Žilková will guide you through her Strong Kindness framework to awaken new insights and introduce skills to help our values realign the interpersonal dynamics of conversations when we’re confronted with dominating behavior.

This engaging and practice-based 4-session workshop will guide you to think anew about these interactions and find your sweet spot where you can feel effective without using ‘power over’ tactics yourself.

You’ll experience:

• 4 interactive online sessions full of new thinking, conversation and activities
• an online discussion space to continue the dialogue between sessions
• activities to integrate what you’re learning into how you live
• a community of like-minded people to connect and practice with

Whether the behaviors you’re encountering are within the realm of work, family, romantic relationships or elsewhere, you’ll learn reframes and tools that will be immediately useful to help shift interactions toward partnership and help you live more fully from your heart.

Each session incorporates new practical concepts, thoughtful conversation, and well-crafted exercises to help you more deeply integrate these new ways of being into your life. You’ll apply what you’re learning immediately and carry it with you into future interactions.

Join us in a community of carers as we unlock understandings and skills to let our kindness shine through even in the face of strong winds. Together we’ll learn the best and most promising practices to begin to fulfill the promise of kindness: that if you’re kind they’ll be kind too.

Zuzana Žilková is committed to helping people be better human beings to each other. She’s been working in pro-social behavior change since 2010 after completing her Masters of Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and being the first Associate Director of Public Initiatives for the Heroic Imagination Project. Her consulting work has focused on serving efforts that seek to decrease behaviors on the spectrum of cruelty to violence by bringing knowledge and know-how of pro-social antidotes.

Illustration: Pamela Zagarenski

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