The innerwork parem is the area where individuals prepare themselves for peace and leadership.  Here we strive for a deeper understanding of ourselves in order to better understand others, especially people who seem quite different from us. This is a place for reflection, self-examination, and focus. Rarely do we get opportunities to focus intently on ourselves, in this section, we do just that. Particularly, we will focus on the following sub-topics: worldview, empathy, human dignity, mindfulness, meditation, forgiveness, listening, love, authenticity, tolerance of ambiguity, and stress and anger management.

After completing this section of the curriculum, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the innerwork component of peace leadership.
  • Reflect on current practices of peace leadership innerwork.
  • Increase participant’s ability to be more self-reflective of their own reactions, behaviors, and potential triggers.
  • Foster comfort in interactions with those of various viewpoints and backgrounds.
  • Consider new areas of peace leadership innerwork practice to implement.


Gandhi once said, “I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.” Worldview is the way we understand and make sense of the world and all that goes around us. It is the map that guides our life and defines who we are as human beings. Our worldviews consist of our thinking, our beliefs, our values, our actions, and our convictions. Our worldview is often our own as individuals, but is rooted in the communities that we live our lives in- including our neighborhoods, our religious traditions, our countries of origin, and our education both formal and informal. For example, people with a worldview that is based on unity will view the participation of men and women in society as equal.

We must begin to understand our worldview before we can begin to understand others’. We must understand others’ worldview as we often interact with those from varying experiences, opportunities, and cultural backgrounds in peace leadership work. When engaging in this work, we must challenge ourselves to work beyond our assumptions, and learn of others’ worldviews so that we might find ways to work together to build a peaceful world.


Jerry Nagel discusses how we move forward when worldview collide:


A Worldview/Self-Awareness Worksheet
Culture Advantage offers a worksheet on effective strategies to help you become aware of your own worldview, such as learning about your own culture and historical background, understanding how you see the world, examining and appreciating your own multiple identities, acknowledging your own assumptions and biases about other people’s cultures, accepting responsibility and tolerating ambiguity, and recognizing limits of your competence. The following link includes each of these suggestions with short self-reflective assessments and exercises that will help increase your awareness of your own worldview.


Worldview- Examples, Reflective Exercises, and Activities
The link below provides helpful examples, exercises, and activities from the Education for Peace program’s curriculum manual.  The exercises begin on page 43, and will help you think critically about your own worldviews at the individual and collective level.  The exercises include key questions about the reading section of the manual, and questions that engage you in the process of personal reflections on self, family and friendships, workplace, society, and the world at large. Some of the questions for personal reflection include: Has your worldview ever changed? What has been the strongest influence(s) on your family’s identity and values? What is the worldview held by the majority of your society? What do you see as essential causes of conflict that are currently taking place in the world?  Also, the curriculum manual includes other activities that you might enjoy doing.


Tips for Expanding Worldview
The following tips help to expand your worldview:

  • Understand how people live and what their interests may be.
  • Recognize traditional customs, laws, and norms.
  • Know that every person is a unique individual.
  • Try to put yourself in other’s shoes.
  • Employ (formally or informally) a coach to help you through your cultural process. A local connection can give you credibility and insight.
  • Be aware of gender issues in each country and understand how your own gender may be a factor in your interactions.
  • Expand sources of information (news) to broader your perspective and understanding. See how various people or perspectives are discussing a certain issue.
  • Experience other cultures and ethnicities as much as possible. You do not have to travel to do this. Join in on festivals and other local cultural celebrations in your area.
  1. Cohen, E. 2007, Leadership without borders: Successful strategies from world class leaders, Wiley Publishing.
  2. Danesh, HB. & Clarke-Habibi, S. 2007, The concept of worldview, Education for Peace Curriculum Manual, EFP International Press, pp. 29-60.
    Available from:
  3. Self-awareness 2006, Culture Advantage. Available from:
  4. TED Talks 2011, Jerry Nagel: A way forward when worldviews collide, YouTube video, 22 September. Available from
  5. Valk, J. 2009, ‘Knowing self and others: Worldview study at Renaissance College’, The Journal of Adult Theological Education, Vol. 6, no. 1, pp.69-80.


Empathy is our ability to relate to what others are going through- their emotions, feelings, experiences, and thoughts. Empathy moves beyond sympathy, which focuses on being more supportive or sensitive than another. Empathy is when we can tap into a part of ourselves that may connect with the way that someone else is feeling. It requires us to be vulnerable and reach out to the person in a way that takes more of ourselves than just sympathy may do.  We must feel with someone else.

Empathy is important in efforts of peace leadership as it provides a space for us to really reach out and connect with each other. It allows us to create a collective sense of a feeling or experience. It is an essential interpersonal skill to help build trust, collaboration, teamwork, and relationships within our homes, communities, organizations, and society.


Brene Brown discusses empathy and how it differs from sympathy:


Developing Empathy
Bruna Martinuzzi offers practical tips that can help you develop the capacity to be empathetic. Some include listening, allowing others to speak without interruptions, paying attention to nonverbal cues, and being fully present when you are with others.The following link provides further information on each practical tip. 


Empathy at Work- Developing Skills to Understand Other People
The following link from Mind Tools shares helpful tips on using empathy more effectively that will improve interpersonal skills in the workplace. Some include putting aside your viewpoint and trying to see things from the other person’s perspective, examining your attitude, and listening to the entire message.


Empathic Listening
The link below from Northwest Compassionate Communication presents H. Holley Humphrey’s practical application of empathic listening. It provides you with examples and suggestions to empathic listening such as focusing on discovering the person’s unmet needs before you present your own, listening for the person’s unspoken need, and trying to summarize what has been communicated to you when you feel stuck in a dialogue.


Reading the Mind in the Eyes test by Simon Baron-Cohen
Since empathy is also linked to the understanding of feelings of others, this 10-minute Social Intelligence test presents 37 pictures to assess how well we can read emotions of others just by looking at their eyes.

  1. Baron-Cohen, S. n.d., Reading the mind in the eyes test, Lab in the Wild, University of Cambridge. Available from:
  2. Empathy Training Manual 2013, The Center for Building a Culture of Empathy and Compassion. Available from:
  3. Gentry, WA., Weber, TJ., & Sadri, G. 2007, Empathy in the workplace: A tool for effective leadership, A Center for Creative Leadership, White Paper. Available from:
  4. Humphrey, H.H. 2000, How can you listen more empathically?, Northwest Compassionate Communication. Available from:
  5. Martinuzzi, B. 2016, What’s empathy got to do with it? Mind Tools. Available from:
  6. Mind Tools n.d., Applying empathy effectively: 6 tips. Available from:
  7. RSA 2013, Brene Brown on empathy, YouTube video, 10 December. Available from:


Human Dignity is the belief that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Human dignity is the equal worth we all have as human beings in this world. When conflict and challenges arise in our lives, it can become increasingly difficult to remember that those who may oppose us also have worth and value. We all should feel as though we can be seen and heard for who we are as individuals and as humans. The respect of human beings, both for those who are similar and different from us, can be a challenging practice- each day is a new opportunity for us to grow our skill.

The notion of human dignity is extremely important for peace leadership. In order to move forward when challenge and conflict arises, we must be able to connect with those who may oppose our ideas and viewpoints. When we can start from a space of respecting their human dignity and acknowledging that despite our different views, we all have value and worth, we can begin conversations, discussions, and negotiations for a quite different place than they might otherwise occur. Starting from a space of dignity, starts from a space of openness, caring, and acceptance.


Donna Hicks discusses the importance of declaring dignity:


Alberto Cairo shares a story that reflects one’s moral obligation to restore and respect human dignity:


Dignity Pledge to Self in Service of Others
Consider taking the Dignity Pledge to Self in Service to  Others, by stating, and living, the following three key ideas:

  • I am committed, to the best of my abilities, to realizing the values enshrined in the first sentence of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
  • I am committed, to the best of my abilities, to striving for self-reflection and alliance with like-minded friends to detect where I might be blind to my own shortcomings.
  • I am committed, to the best of my abilities, to encouraging and supporting the dignity of all people, and to counteracting and transforming practices of humiliation at all levels, from personal to systemic levels.

Practice making dignity choices
Anthony Marsella asks you to “Show, by your actions, that you choose peace over war, freedom over oppression, voice over silence, service over self-interest, respect over advantage, cooperation over competition, action over passivity, diversity over uniformity, and justice over all.

Morton Deutsch has formulated a longer pledge that focuses on the creation and maintenance of a global human community that will work together and live in freedom and dignity.


Ask yourself: Am I recognizing the dignity in this individual?
If not, why not? What steps might I take in order to recognize and respect their human dignity?

  1. Cairo, A. 2011, There are no scraps of men, TED Talk. Available from:
  2. Deutsch, M., Marcus, E.C., & Brazaitis,S. 2012, A framework for thinking about developing a global community,  In The Psychological Components of Sustainable Peace,eds PT Coleman & M Deutsch, Springer Press.
  3. Hicks, D. 2011, Dignity: The Essential Role it Plays in Resolving Conflict, Yale University Press.
  4. Hicks, D. 2013, Leading with Dignity. Available at:
  5. Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies Organization n.d., Dignity pledge to self in service of others. Available from:
  6. Marsella, A.J., 2006, Justice in a global age: Becoming counselors to the world, Counselling Psychology Quarterly, Vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 121-132.
  7. TED Talks 2013, Declare dignity: Donna Hicks at TEDx Stormont, YouTube video, 4 April. Available from: ttps://


Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present and pay attention to the current moment without judgement. It is taking the time to recognize what is happening with ourselves, and our surrounding environment, at any given time. This observation should not be critical, but rather serve a pause and a space to better understand ourselves and our world. Being mindful allows us to better understand our habitual patterns and assumptions, and encourages us to be aware of the multitude of experiences available in any given moment. By stopping to capture the intricacies of these moments we are opening ourselves to a whole new potential in how we view and interact with the world. Mindfulness has been shown to increase productivity and innovation, flexibility, and organizational satisfaction.

Mindfulness is extremely valuable for peace leadership. In any given interaction or encounter in the work to build peace, there are a number of complex challenges and multifaceted realities. Being mindful while engaging in peace leadership allows for suspension of judgment and a new appreciation of our surroundings, including the diverse perspectives of those who may be engaging in peace leadership work with you. When we can be present to ourselves and our surroundings we are more attuned to the work we want to do and the people who we engage with to make it happen.


Paul Hannam explains how to shift from the thinking mode to the being mode:


Andy Puddicombe discusses the significance of being mindful and experiencing the present moment:


Mindfulness Exercise for Unexamined Pain
This is an exercise that will help you attend to the present moment with kindness. Chirstaine Wolf offers a one-minute mindfulness practice using the acronymPAIN to help people pay attention to challenging circumstances by acquiring an internal locus of control. The link below explains the acronym as: Putting kindness toward self and others, Allowing experience to be there, Inquiring with interest, and Not identifying with the pain by remembering it’s a natural process.


Building Mindfulness Practices into Your Life
Elisha Goldstein introduced a couple of familiar guided acronyms such as STOP and RAIN that help bring the practice of mindfulness into your life. The following link presents the acronyms STOP as Stop what you’re doing, Take a few deep breaths, Observe your experience just as it is, and Proceed with a supportive strategy; and RAIN as Recognize what’s going on, Allow the experience to be there, Investigate with kindness, and Natural Awareness.


One-Minute Mindfulness Exercises
Leonie Stewart-Weeks offers a variety of mindfulness exercises that each can be practiced in a minute or less. They include stretching, breathing, and loving-kindness aspirations 

  1. Atkins, P. 2008, Leadership as a response not reaction: Wisdom and mindfulness in public sector leadership, In Public leadership: Perspectives and practices, eds P Hart & J Url,ANU E Press.
  2. Boyatzis, R. & McKee, A. 2005, Resonate leadership: Renewing yourself and connecting with others through mindfulness, hope, and compassion, Harvard Business School Press.
  3. Goldstein, E. 2015, Key mindfulness practices, Mindful. Available from:
  4. Hannam, P. n.d., Mindfulness: A way of living, Skills You Need. Available from:
  5. Kabat-Zinn, J. 1994, Wherever you go, there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life, Hyperion.
  6. McIntyre Miller, W. (In Press), Mindfulness and global leadership, In International Leadership: A Reference Guide, ed M Mendenhall, Mission Bell Media.
  7. Nhat Hahn, T. 1991, Peace is every step: The path to mindfulness in everyday life, Bantam Books.
  8. Stewart-Weeks, L. 2016, 1-Minute mindfulness exercises, Psych Central. Available from:
  9. TED Talk 2012, Andy Puddicombe: All it take is 10 mindful minutes, Available from:
  10. Wolf, C. 2015, Mindfulness exercise to living with chronic pain, Mindful. Available from:


Meditation is the quieting of the mind in order to allow for a peaceful space of inward contemplation and awareness. Meditation is an active relaxation, or efforts to relax through concentration and breathing. It opens ourselves up to the broader world around us, by enabling us to slow down our thoughts and actions. By focusing on our breathing, meditation is a way for us to let go of our busy minds and constant thinking and open ourselves up to a new world of possibility.

Meditation has been shown to build one’s resilience, empathy, and intuition. Each of these skills are essential to being present and connected with yourself. In peace leadership, those of us who have connected in this meditative space and can build upon these skills will be more effective in connecting with others in an authentic, open, and more meaningful ways.


Jeff Zlotnik demonstrates the power of presence through mediation:


Pico Iyer discusses stillness as a strategy to recall our experiences and make sense of our lives:


Mindful Meditation, Getting Started on Posture
Mindful provides beginners with six practical steps on meditation starting with posture.The steps include: sitting in a comfortable and stable seat, such as a meditation cushion or a chair, crossing your legs comfortably in front of you if you are sitting on a floor cushion, straightening your upper body, dropping your hands onto the top of your legs, dropping your chin slightly, and settling in your place for a few moments. The following link provides further detail on each step.


On-The-Go Walking Meditation
Elisha Goldstein offers four simple steps to train your brain to be present while simply walking. The steps include: appreciating the ability to walk, bringing your attention to the sensations of your feet and legs as the heel touches the ground, opening your awareness to all your senses, and recite helpful phrases as you walk. The link below provides detailed information on each step.


Five-minute Breathing Meditation to Cultivate Mindfulness
The most basic way to do mindful breathing is simply to focus your attention on your breath. The following link from Mindful provides a six-step meditation practice for mindful breathing. The steps include: designating a time for this exercise, sitting or even lying in a comfortable position, closing your eyes, starting by taking an exaggerated breath, observing each breath without trying to adjust it, and bringing your attention back to your breath when you find yourself distracted.The link also provides you with a five-minute audio that takes you through the practice.

  1. 5-minute breathing meditation, n.d., Mindful. Available from:
  2. Carroll, M. 2013, Meditating your way to more effective leadership, Fast Company. Available from:
  3. Goldstein, E. 2014, Walking meditation in four steps, Mindful, 27 June. Available from:
  4. How to meditate 2014, Mindful, 9 September. AVailable from:
  5. International Institute for Leadership and Meditation n.d., What is meditation. Available from:
  6. TED Talks 2014, Pico Iyer: The art of stillness. Available from:
  7. TEDx Chapman U 2014, Stacy Schuerman-Breath: Five minutes can change your life. Available from:
  8. TEDx Youth 2013, The power of presence through meditation: Jeff Zlotnik, YouTube video, 17 February. Available from:


Forgiveness is an opportunity. It is a chance to build upon the humanity of one another and understand that when wrongs occur we can allow ourselves to move beyond the hurt and anger that results inside each of us. Forgiveness is not about forgetting the wrongs that have occurred, or about condoning those acts. It is a courageous act about giving ourselves, and others, the freedom to move forward, find well-being, and release ourselves from anger, hatred, stress, and depression. It is a chance to reconcile and to rehumanize those who are both victims and offenders. We must also remember that forgiveness may not just be about forgiving someone else; we may also need to practice the difficult art of forgiving ourselves.

Forgiveness is an essential practice for peace leadership. In order to act with the varying parties involved in any peace leadership practice, we must think about bringing people together. Forgiveness allows us to heal divides and limit separations from what might be some long-standing hurt. It is important for those involved in peace leadership to encourage a sense of inclusion, rather than one based on fear, uncertainty, and anger. Forgiveness allows for the understanding that in our efforts to make peace, mistakes can be made, feelings can be hurt, true offense can be taken; and each of these, with hard work and a focus on building a world in which we are all included and want to live, is worth the time, effort, and challenge of forgiveness.


Aicha el-Wafi and Phyllis Rodriguez share their story of finding forgiveness and peace by understanding and respecting one another:


Azim Khamisa shares about using forgiveness as a tool to overcome pain, grief, frustration, and anger:


Forgiveness, Nine Steps to Releasing the Burden
Elisha Goldstein (2012) provides valuable suggestions and lays out Fred Luskin’s nine steps to forgiveness. They include: know exactly how you feel, make a commitment to feel better, focus on finding peace, get the right perspective on what is happening, practice stress management, remind yourself that you can hope for peace and prosperity, place your energy into achieving your positive goals, learn to look for the love and kindness around you, and amend your grievance story. The following link provides further information on each step.


Forgiveness Exercise
In his book, Michael Dawson offered an exercise (Exercise 1.1) on accepting the qualities you like and dislike about people and yourself. The following link takes you through the instructions of the exercise.


Forgiveness Exercise
Elisha Goldstein (2015) provides a short practice on forgiveness to let go of the habit of resentment. In the link below, you will find that the practice takes you through steps of imaging a time when you’ve been hurt by someone, and reflecting on the emotions you are experiencing throughout each step of instruction.

  1. Dawson, M. 2011, Who do we forgive?, Forgiveness: A path to inner peace.
  2. Goldstein, E. 2012, Forgiveness: 9 Steps to releasing the burden, Psych Central. Available from:
  3. Goldstein, E. 2015, Learn to forgive others no matter what, Psych Central. Available from:
  4. Hidden Brain. 2016. The Paradox of Forgiveness. Available from:
  5. Khamisa, A. 2012, From Murder to Forgiveness: A Father’s Journey, Balboa Press.
  6. Nagler, M. 2003. Is there no other way? The search for a nonviolent future. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Hills Books.
  7. TED Talk 2010, The mothers who found forgiveness and friendship. Available from:
  8. Williams, D.  2013. Forgiveness: The Least Understood Leadership Trait in the Workplace. Forbes. Available from:
  9. Unity Lab 2011, Azim Khamisa- Forgive, YouTube video, 27 April. Available from:


How many times do we hear people talking to us, but we are not really listening? How many times are we distracted by the technology that is now so readily available to us? How often do we set this technology aside and really focus on the person talking? Really listen to what they are saying; listen without thinking about how you will respond, thinking about the grocery list, or any other to do list that may be also pressing for your attention. Listening is more than just hearing someone talk. Listening is an act of concentration, of connecting with another person, deeply experiencing their words, emotions, and experiences.

Listening builds trust and allows others to know that you care about them and their experiences, and that you trust and value their thoughts and opinions. Those engaged in peace leadership should find listening an essential element of peace leadership work. Listening to both those that share your thoughts and opinions, and those that may differ, allows you to explore the full range of ideas and experiences that may contribute to our peace leadership work. When we embrace new ideas, and take the time to truly listen and engage with those who are sharing with us, we increase the value of our engagements, our interactions, and our opportunities to create peace.


Julian Treasure discusses listening consciously to live fully:


William Ury discusses listening as an essential communication tool:


10 Principles of Listening
Skills You Need offers ten guiding principles for effective listening, some of which are listening to what others are saying instead of interrupting or talking over them, concentrating on the message, and empathizing. The following link provides further details on each principle.


Mindful Listening- Developing Awareness to Listen Fully
Mind Tools discusses Charlie Scott’s three key elements to mindful listening, such as presence, empathy, and listening to cues. The following link includes suggestions for each element.


5 Key Active Listening Techniques
Mind Tools provides five important techniques to active listening, such as giving the speaker your undivided attention, using body language to convey your attention, reflecting on what is being said, refraining from interrupting the speaker, and responding appropriately and respectfully. The link below includes further information, tips, and examples for each technique.

  1. 10 principles of listening, Skills You Need. Available from:
  2. Active listening: Hearing what people are really saying, Mind Tools. Available from:
  3. Llopis, G. 2013. 6 Ways Effective Listening can make you a Better Leader. Forbes. Availabe from:
  4. Mindful listening: 3 key elements of mindful listening that improves listening skills, Mind Tools. Available from:
  5. TED Talk 2011, Julian Treasure: 5 ways to listen better. Available from:
  6. TED Talk 2015, William Ury: The power of listening, YouTube video, 7 January. Available from:


When we think about love, we often think about it being reserved for personal relationships with family and even friends. What might happen, however, if we were to extend that love to all of the people we engage with? What might happen if we were able to bring our capacity to love to everyone we interact with- even those with whom we may disagree. It is important to think about who we love, and how we love them- how we care both for and about them. Bringing love to the forefront opens us up to new possibilities with among the people we interact. It creates a space where people feel as though they are a part a process. It directly challenges the all-too-common practice of leadership with and through fear. Fear closes us off and forces us to make quick, short-term decisions. Love opens us up to possibilities, creativity, and innovation. Love is a space the delights in the well-being of others, and just as importantly, ourselves.

Bringing people into a process, and ensuring that they are loved and cared for is essential for the work of peace leadership. When we open our hearts to others we are opening up our actions and interactions for peace. In peace leadership it is essential to have caring, powerful relationships, and we cannot reach those relationships without love. When we embrace leading with love, as opposed to fear, we create a space that fosters creativity, innovation, and true connection for growth- essential elements for peace leadership.


Thai commercial that show us what it is to love:


D’bi Young shares what she sees as next… love:


Unconditional Love for Yourself and Others
Harold W. Becker (2015) discusses the power of unconditional
love for yourself and others. The following link includes information on the practices for experiencing unconditional love for yourself and others: embodying the qualities of unconditional love, the mirror experience, and the bridge of light and forgiveness.


Cultivating Self-Compassion
Margarita Tartakovsky provides a discussion on self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness as three components to self-compassion, with practical exercises that foster these components. The following link presents information on all three components with exercises.


Learn to Love Yourself First
Paula Durlofsky offers suggestions to practicing self-love such as celebrating accomplishments and positive self-talk.


How to Choose Self-Compassion
Here’s a simple practice from Carley Hauck on trying a loving-kindness day: pick a day, don’t schedule anything, and just see what you want to do. It could be reading a book, writing, or spending some time in nature.

  1. Becker, H.W. 2015, Living in bliss: how to experience unconditional love for yourself and others, Conscious Lifestyle Magazine, Available from:
  2. Durlofsky, P. 2016, Learn to love yourself first, Psych Central, 11 February. Available from:
  3. Hauck, C. n.d., How to choose self-compassion, Mindful. Available from:
  4. Kahane, A.. 2010, Power and love: a theory and practice of social change, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc., San Francisco, CA.
  5. Linda Loved 2014, Heartwarming Thai commercial- Thai good stories, YouTube video, 4 April. Available from:
  6. Tartakovsky, M. 2011, Cultivating self-compassion, Psych Central, 22 June. Available from:
  7. TED Talks 2009, D’bi Young, YouTube video, 23 November. Available from:
  8. “The neuroscience of love” June 2014, Charite` Neuroscience Newsletter, vol. 7 no. 2, Available from:
  9. Woodbury, T. 2010, Leadership: What’s Love got to do with it? Oxford Leadership Journal, Available from:


How well do we know ourselves? And when we do come to know ourselves, how well to do portray that true self to others? When we engage in work around authenticity, we are striving to understand our true selves better, and learning how best to communicate this self to the people we engage with- both personally and professionally. When we are being authentic, we are connecting with our inner consciousness, and sharing the depth of that space with others. Leading with authenticity takes practice, courage, and discipline. We must work every day to find our true selves, connect with that self, and share that self with others.

There has been much research and discussions around the importance of authenticity in leadership, and it is equally, if not more, important for peace leadership. How can we ask others to join us in a movement toward peace and societal change if we are inauthentic and hidden behind veils of our false selves? How can we engage in the meaningful relationships it takes to engage in peace leadership if we are unable to take up a meaningful relationship with ourselves? Research demonstrates that leaders who are more authentic are more adept at leading groups and organizations. Peace leaders who are more authentic will be more likely to be strong in their resolve for peace, and more likely to encourage others to join in their work for the greater good.


Brene Brown discusses vulnerability and courage in order to be authentic:


Daniel Goleman and Bill George speak about authenticity and empathy:


Julie Lythcott-Haims speaks about finding your authentic self from a parent’s perspective:


Being Authentically You
Athena Staik indicated that one of the most important ways to express authenticity is by relating to yourself and others, and by nurturing and respecting a healthy space inside of you. The link below provides a short self-rating scale that helps you reflect on your own authenticity.


Five Essential Steps to Authenticity
Athena Staik includes self-awareness, self-acceptance, practicing self-love, courage, and compassion for others as five steps that are essential to authenticity. The following link discusses each step and provides useful suggestions.


Authenticity, The Chopra Center
The Chopra Center offers ways to cultivate and foster authenticity within yourself, some of which include accepting your uniqueness, aligning your words with your thoughts and actions, and being clear and truthful and act from integrity. The link below provides additional ways to cultivate authenticity.

  1. Authenticity: A closer look. n.d., The Chopra Center. Available from:
  2. George, B. & Sims, P. 2007, True North. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.
  3. More Than Sound 2015, Daniel Goleman and Bill George: Authenticity and empathy, YouTube video, 24 March. Available from:
  4. Staik, A. 2012, The ultimate gift – giving the gift being authentically you, 1 of 2, Psych Central, blog post. Available from:
  5. Staik, A. 2013, Five essential steps to authenticity – Authentic you, Part 2, Psych Central, blog post. Available from:
  6. TED Talks 2010, Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability. Available from:
  7. TED Talks 2012, Julie Lythcott-Haimes, Be your authentic self. Available from:


The world is an increasingly complex and uncertain place, one which often leads to distress and discomfort as we try to navigate and even control the unknowns that surround our lives. As we become more interconnected, and live in many intersecting spheres, we must learn to better tolerate the ambiguity that comes with our new way of living. In fact, embracing the unexpected and the unknown is shown to provide a better space for decision-making, as we can often be open to more possibilities and opportunities to advance and think about the world in new ways. When we are tolerant of ambiguity, we begin to see that there is more than just one right way to do something, which is connected to more organizational satisfaction, and the building of stronger relationships.

It is clear to see that tolerance of ambiguity is also essential to those engaging in peace leadership work. Peace leadership is the chance to engage with others and build relationships; a chance to explore interconnectedness and new opportunities. Peace leadership requires that we embrace varying points of view, and that we do not always know exactly what may be coming next in our endeavors. If we can live in a space of open-mindedness and willingness to let go of some of our need to control, we can foster the kind of innovation, creativity, and growth that will lead the way to the peaceful, sustainable change we desire.


Miriam Giguere speaks about tolerating ambiguity and being ok with not knowing:


Five Steps of Tolerating Ambiguity
Lyle York explains the five steps to tolerating ambiguity: identifying exactly the analogy used, focusing on the details, mapping the situation, identifying trends and developments, and imagining future scenarios.


Tolerance of Ambiguity scale
The following link offers a scale of 16 questions that assess your tolerance for ambiguity.

  1. Adult Learning and Leadership 2012, Five steps for effectively dealing with ambiguity, YouTube video, 30 April. Available from:
  2. Giguere, M. 2014, Tolerating ambiguity: Being ok with not knowing, TEDx Talks, 18 June. Available from:;search%3Aambiguity
  3. McIntyre Miller, W. In Press. Global Leadership and Tolerance of Ambiguity. In International Leadership: A Reference Guide, ed M Mendenhall, Mission Bell Media.
  4. Tolerance for ambiguity scale n.d., Organizational Behavior. Available from:
  5. Adult Learning and Leadership 2012, Five steps for effectively dealing with ambiguity, YouTube video, 30 April. Available from:


Anger and stress are often side effects of our busy, technologically-enhanced lives. These are natural feelings and responses to daily life. We know that we often cannot control the factors that bring on these reactions and emotions, but we can begin to control how we work to manage them and operate in a world that is often ambiguous and challenging to grapple with.

In the inner work section of peace leadership we focus on many of the ways that can build ourselves up into being better individuals in the face of some of life’s difficulties so that we can better handle the various complexities of challenges of peace leadership. Learning how to manage our stress and anger is an essential way for us to provide space and openness for much of the other work in this section. When we find ways to relax, breath, exercise, and sleep better, we open ourselves up to the creative possibilities that may be possible in our lives. As stress and anger can often blind us to creative potentials, and some of life’s joys and simple pleasures, learning how to manage these feelings and emotions can enable us find new meaning in our work in peace leadership, and can challenge us to serve as examples for others engaging in these efforts.


Kelly McGonigal discusses approaching stress in a positive way by reaching out to others:


The folks at Wellcast share some clear ways to manage anger:


Strategies for Controlling Anger
To manage and channel feelings of anger in a constructive way, the American Psychological Association provides helpful and effective strategies such as Relaxation Techniques, Cognitive Restructuring, Problem Solving, Humor, Effective Communication, and Environmental Change. The following link includes additional information to guide you through each strategy.


Anger Management
Skills You Need provides several self-help techniques and practical strategies to alleviate negative aspects of anger such as Regular Exercise, Sleep, Effective Communication and Assertiveness, Deep Breathing and Relaxation Techniques, and Forgiveness. The following link includes further details on how to apply each strategy.


Simple Breathing Exercise
Skills You Need provides a Simple Breathing exercise that only requires 15 minutes of your time. Visit the link below for the practice.

  1. Anger management: Self-help techniques n.d., Skills You Need. Available from:
  2. Basic Relaxation Technique- Progressive Relaxation n.d., Skills You Need. Available from:
  3. Simple Breathing exercise n.d., Skills You Need. Available from:
  4. Strategies for controlling anger 2011, American Psychological Association. Available from:
  5. TED Talk 2013, Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend. Available from:
  6. Well Cast 2012, Anger management techniques, YouTube video, 26 September. Available from:


This section of the curriculum has focused on the Innerwork of peace leadership. Innerwork is the deeper connections we make with ourselves as we engage in peace leadership work. It is the chance we give ourselves to connect to ourselves in a unique way that encourages our authenticity, reflection, and love. It is the space that prepares us to work with others through empathy, deep listening, forgiveness, and recognition of their dignity. As we embrace our self-exploration, we are becoming more courageous in our efforts to embrace peace leadership and our work with others to foster these efforts. As we become truer to ourselves we can be more open and connected with the work we do. Our reflections and practices lead us to new relationships with ourselves, with those whom we work, and with those who may pose as a challenge to us. We are creating a new space for our own emergence and our own transitions as we foster transitions of peace and change in ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world.